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CONCERNING TIIK 



WAMPANOAG TRIBE OF INDIANS, 



fimm yinmni ot a l|utk yitlnra 



ON THE 



SIlOllH OF MOUNT HOPE BAY, IX IJKISTOL, K. I. 



WILLIAM J. MILLER. 




PROVIDENCE 

SIDNEY S . n I I) E K . 

1880, 



Copyright by 
SIDNEY S. Ill I)E K 

18 80. 



riH)Vii»i;N(|.; I'ltK.ss coMi'ANv, i'i;iNTi:i:s 



THE WAMPANOAG TRIBE OF INDIANS. 



[Read before the Rhode Island Historical Society, in Providence, March 17, 1874.] 



In any sketch of the Wampauoag Tribe of Indians, 
Massasoit, and his renowned son, Pomktacom, or 
King Philip, must of necessity be the central fig- 
ures. The first, as the early friend and sturdy ally 
and preserver of the Plymouth settlement in its years 
of feebleness, and the latter as the bold and intrepid 
leader of his race, in their wild and desperate eflx)rt 
to stay the march of civilization, and reclaim the 
huntin«: orrounds of their fathers from the adventur- 
ous intruders who had entered in and possessed the 
land. 

The first knowledge we have of the Indians in this 
section, is from Verrazzano, a Florentine pilot, who 
was sent out by Francis I, of France, in 1524, in 
command of the ship Dolphin, or Dauphin. He 
sailed from Madeira on the 17th of January, 1524, 
with fifty men and eight months' stores, and steer- 
ing west, in fifty days made land ; which proved 
to be what is now a portion of the Carolina coast. 
Sailino^ north alono^ the coast, occasionally stopping 



2 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

to land, he discovered Block Island, and entered 
Narragansett Bay. 

In a letter to the King, of France, after his return, 
he o-ives an account of his visit to these waters, and 
a description of the natives, as follows : — 

" We discovered an Island in the form of a trian- 
gle, distant from the main land ten leagues, about 
the biirness of the island of Rhodes. It was full of 
hills, covered with trees, well peopled, for we saw 
fires all along the coast. We gave it the name of 
your Majesty's mother (Louisa). And we came to 
another land, being tifteen leagues distant from the 
Island, where we found a passing good haven (New- 
port harbor), where, being entered, we found about 
twenty small boats of the people, Avhich with divers 
cries and wonderings, came about our ship ; coming 
no nearer than fifty paces towards us, they stayed 
and beheld the artificialness of our ship, our shape 
and apparel, then they all made a loud shout to- 
gether, declaring that they rejoiced ; when we had 
something animated them, using their gestures, they 
came so near us, that we cast them certain bells and 
glasses and many toys, which when they had re- 
ceived, they looked on them with laughing, and 
came without fear on board our ship. 

"They were dressed in deer skins, wrought arti- 
ficially with divers branches like damask; their hair 
was tied up behind with divers knots. This is the 
goodliest people, and of the fairest conditions, that 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 3 

we have found in this our voyage ; they exceed us 
in bigness ; they are the color of brass, some of 
them incline more to whiteness ; others are of yel- 
low color, of comely visage, with long and black 
hair, which they are very careful to trim and deck 
up ; they are of sweet and pleasant countenance. 
The women are very handsome and well favored, of 
pleasant countenance and comely to behold. They 
are as well mannered as any women ; they wear deer 
skins branched and embroidered, as the men use — 
there are also of them which wear on their arms 
very rich skins of Lucernes ; they wear divers orna- 
ments, according to the usage of the people of the 



" We bestowed fifteen days in providing ourselves ; 
every day the people repaired to see our ship, 
bringing their wives with them, whereof they are 
very jealous, and caused their wives to stay in their 
boats, and for all the entreaty we could make, we 
could never obtain that they would suffer them to 
come aboard our ship. There were two kings of so 
goodly stature and shape as is possible to declare ; 
the oldest was about forty years of age ; the second 
was a young man of twenty years old, and when 
they came on board the Queen and her maids stayed 
in a ver}' light boat at an island a quarter of a league 
off. 

"There was a little island near the ship (Goat 
Island,* probably) where the men went — the woods 

* Now used by the Uuiteil States Government for a torpedo station. 



4 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

were oaks, cypress trees and other sorts unknown in 
Europe, damson and nut trees ; there arc beasts m 
irreat abundance, as harts, deer, Lucernes and other 
kinds. Their boats are made of one log, by the aid 
of tire and tools of stone, and of sufficient capacity 
to carry ten or tifteen men. 

"We saw their houses, made in circular form, ten 
or twelve paces in compass, covered with mats ot 
straw, wrou^sht cunningly together. They live long 
and are seldom sick, and if they chance to fall sick 
at any time, they heal themselves with tire, without 
any physician, and they say that they die for very 



age." 



Verrazzano describes the "entrance to the bay as 
lying open to the .south, half a league broad, and 
being entered within it, between the east and the 
north, it stretches twelve leagues, where it w^axeth 
broader and broader, and maketh a gulf about 
twenty leagues in compass, wherein are line small 
islands, very fruitful and pleasant, among which . 
islands any great navy may ride safe. This land is 
situated in the parallel of Rome, in forty-one de- » 
grees and two terces. The 5th of May we departed." 

This is a description of the inhabitants of the land 
bordering on our bay, of the Wampanoags, and 
probably of the ancestors of Massasoit, more than 
a hundred years before its settlement by the whites. 

The visits of the Northmen to our bay and shores 
more than live centuries before this visit of Ver- 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 5 

razzaiio, of which we have so interesting an account, 
are also chiimed to be well authenticated. I have 
recently noticed that Iceland has it in contemplation 
to celebrate the present year (1874), the thousandth 
anniversary of the settlement of the island in 874. 
The Cologne Gazette makes mention of this proposed 
celebration, and says: "As early as 860, a Dane 
named Gardar was drifted from Scotland in stormy 
weather northwards to an unknown coast. lie win- 
tered in the country and called it Gardarsholn. 
Shortly thereafter a Norwegian, Nadod, was also 
drifted there. In >^Q^ the island was visited by 
another Norwegian, Floke, who remained for a year 
there and named it Iceland. Ingolf, driven into 
exile on account of cruelties perpetrated by the 
Norwegian King Hagar Haarsagar, proceeded in 874, 
with his foster brother to Iceland, and they founded 
the earliest settlements. These w^ere near the place 
where Reikjavik, the capital of the island, now 
stands. Others followed the two brothers, and the 
island was soon inhabited. From Iceland, Green- 
land, it is known, was discovered, and from it hardy 
Norse seamen, about the year 1000, reached that 
part of the coast of the American continent now 
forming Massachusetts. It is consequently," con- 
tinues the Gazette^ "not without some historical justi- 
fication that the celebrated Norwegian violinist, Ole 
Bull, has been collecting subscriptions among his 
countrymen to erect a monument to the Norwegian, 



g THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Leif Erikson, the first discoverer of America, as the 
latter touclied American ground from four to five 
hundred years before Columbus, and there are indi- 
cations that the Genoese was not only acquainted 
with the voyages of the old Norse sailors to America, 
but that they were not without influence on his plan 
and its execution." 

It is believed that the Leifs-booths of Erikson was 
at Mount Hope (Jlon Top of the Norsemen, Moni 
Haup of the Indians, and Mount Hope of the 
Eno-lish) in Bristol, where he and his crew landed 
and built houses and wintered at the very beginning 
of the eleventh century. 

There was known to the early English settlers in 
Bristol, a rock upon the west shore of Mount Hope 
Bay, on the surface of which were inscriptions in an 
unknown tongue. These inscriptions were believed 
to be traces of the Northmen's visit. This rock w^as 
lost sight of for many years, and it was supposed 
had been destroyed. Prof. J. Lewis Dinian, when 
a young student, wrote some historical sketches of 
his native town under the head of " Annals of 
Bristol," which were published in the Bristol Phenix 
in 1845-G. In these sketches he gives a detailed 
account of the visit of Thorfinn, a distinguished 
Northman, to these shores in 1007, with three ships 
and 160 men. The first ship was commanded b}^ 
Thorfinn and Snorre Thorbandson, also of distin- 
guished lineage. The second by Bjarne Grimalfson 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 7 

and Thorhiill Ganilasoii, and the third by Thorward 
or Thorhall. The first and third retnrned to Green- 
land after an absence of more than three years. 
The second, commanded by Grimalfson, never re- 
tnrned to Greenland, and of her fate I shall here- 
after speak. Prof. Diman, in closing his account, 
says: "The only trace which has been left by the 
Northmen, of their wintering in Bristol, is a rock 
situated near the 'Narrows.' This rock was said to 
have been covered with characters in an unknown 
tongue, but was unfortunately destroyed by a heed- 
less hand. This circumstance can never cease to be 
regretted." 

This interesting relic has been recently rediscov- 
ered. The rock lies upon the shore of the farm of 
Doctor Charles H. R. Doringh, between Mount 
Hope and the Narrows. It is what is termed by 
geologists as "graywacke," and is about ten and a 
half by six and a half feet in size, of oblong shape, 
and about twenty-one inches thick, with a nearly 
flat surface. Jn company with Doctor Doringh, who 
takes a lively interest in the matter, I visited this 
rock for the first time, last autumn, and scanned the 
strange inscriptions upon its surface with much 
interest. 

They certainly bear marks of gi'eat antiquity. 
The rock is bare at low water, but its surface is 
washed by the full of the sea. The most prominent 
figure npon it is that of a boat, the outlines of which 



g THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

are cleurly cut, and it is of such peculiar shape that 
it possibly may aid iu the sohition of the problem of 
its nationality. Let us imagine that a boat's crew 
went ashore from the vessel at anchor in the bay for 
a stroll upon the land ; or it may be upon a more 
important mission, to explore the land and communi- 
cate with its inhabitants ; that they left one of their 
numl)er as boat keeper during their absence ; 'that to 
while away the time he engraved his name upon this 
rock, and the boat lying upon the shore, directly in 
front of him, he also engraved her outlines upon the 
rock. These characters cover but a very small por- 
tion of the surface of the rock, and being much 
worn by the action of the elements, during the long 
ages they have been there, it is not surprising that 
they were lost sight of for so many years. [S^ee 
Appendix A.'] 

Canon Kingsley introduced his eloquent and thril- 
linjr lecture on the Northmen as the first discoverers 
of America, which he delivered in Boston on the 
23d of February last (1874) with a story, the scene 
of which was the North Atlantic 863 years ago. It 
runs thus : " Rjarne Grimalfson was blown with his 
ship into the Irish ocean, and there came worms and 
the ship began to sink under them. They had a 
boat which they had payed with seal's blubber, for 
that the sea worms will not hurt. But when they 
got into the l)oat, they saw that it would not hold 
them all. Then said Bjarne : 'As the boat will only 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 9 

hold the half of us, my advice is that we should 
draw lots who shall go iu her, for that will not he 
unworthy of our manhood.' This advice seemed 
so good that none gainsaid it, and they drew lots. 
And the lot fell to Bjarne, that he should go in the 
boat with half his crew. But as he went into the 
boat, there spake an Icelander who was in the ship 
and had followed Bjarne from Iceland : ^Art thou 
going to leave me here, Bjarne?' Quoth Bjarne: 
' So it must be.' Then said the man : ^Another thing 
didst thou promise my father when I sailed with 
thee from Iceland than to desert me thus. For thou 
saidst that we should both share the same lot.' 
Bjarne said : 'And that we will not do. Get thee 
down into the boat, and I will get up into the ship, 
now that I see thou art so greedy after life.' So 
Bjarne w^ent up into the ship, and the man down 
into the boat, and the boat went on its voyage 
till they came to Dublin in Ireland. But most men 
say that Bjarne and his companions perished among 
the worms, for they were never heard of after." 

"And this story," adds Mr. Kingsley, ' "should 
have a special interest for Americans. For, as 
American antiquaries are well aware, Bjarne was on 
his voyage home from the coast of New England, 
possibly from that very Mount Hope Bay, which 
seems to have borne the same name in the time of 
those old Norsemen as afterwards in the days of 
King Philip." 



10 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Is this inscription, cut into the surface of the rock 
on Blount Hope B.iy, the name of one of the crew 
of Bjarne's worm-eaten ship? It thrills one to think 
that it may be even so. Not the name, we hope, of 
the craven who basely saved his own life at the 
sacriiice of that of his heroic commander, but rather 
the name of one of the fated company who accepted 
his hard lot without murmur, and went down to his 
watery grave without complaint. 

These Northmen were probably the first Europeans 
the Indians ever looked upon. 

The first Enoflishman known to have visited Mas- 
sasoit, was Captain Thomas Dermer, in 1619. The 
account says he sailed from Monhigon (Maine), 
thence in that month (May) for Virginia, in an open 
pinnace, consequently was obliged to keep close in 
shore. He found places which had been inhabited, 
but at that time contained no people ; and further 
onward nearly all were dead, of a great sickness, 
which was then prevailing, but had nearly abated. 
When he came to Patuxet (now Plymouth) all were 
dead. From thence he travelled a day's journey 
into the country westward to Namasket (now Mid- 
dleborough). From this place he sent a messenger 
to visit Massasoit. In this expedition he reclaimed 
two Frenchmen from Massasoit's people, who had 
been cast away on the coast three years before. In 
a letter, under date of December 27, 1619, Captain 
Dermer writes as follows : ''• When I arived at my 



THR WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 11 

savage's (Sqiianto) native country, tinding all dead, 
I travelled alongst a day's journey, to a place called 
Nummastaguyt, where, tinding inhabitants, I des- 
patched a messenger a day's journey farther west, to 
Pokanokit, which bordereth on the sea ; whence 
came to see me two kings, attended with a guard of 
fifty armed men, who being well satisfied with that 
my savage and I discoursed unto them (being desir- 
ous of novelty), gave me content in whatsoever I 
demanded, where I found that former relations were 
true." The two kings mentioned, were probably 
Massasoit and his brother Quadaquina. Captain 
Dermer says that the savages would have killed him 
at Namasket, had not Squanto entreated hard for 
him. Squanto (or Squantum, alias Tisquantum, for 
he was known by all these names,) was one of the 
five natives carried from the coast of New England 
in 1G05, by Captain George Weymouth, who had 
been sent out from England to discover a northwest 
passage. Squanto, who had just returned from En- 
gland with Dermer, and who was a native of Patux- 
et, or Plymouth, was s:iid to have been the only per- 
son belonging in that section of country who sur- 
vived the great plague. He was very useful to the 
English as a guide through the Indian country from 
Plymouth to Narragansett Bay, and also as an inter- 
preter, in their early intercourse with the natives. 
He died in December, 1G22. 

At the time of the arrival of the English at Ply- 



12 THF WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

month, the territory of the Wampanoag Tribe of 
Indians, over whom Massasoit was Chief Sachem, 
extended over nearly all the sontheastern part of 
Massachnsetts, from Cape Cod to Narragansett Bay. 
The district of country under the immediate govern- 
ment of Massasoit, was what is now Bristol County 
and East Providence, in this State, and parts of 
Swanzey, Seekonk and Rehoboth, in Massachusetts. 
It was known by the Indian name of Pokanoket. 
The plague which broke out among the Indians in 
iniG, and was so fatal to many portions of the tribe, 
(and which, I may add, is regarded as a special in- 
terposition of Divine Providence in behalf of our 
Pilgrim Fathers, in opening up a large section of 
country for their occupation, with few or no natives 
to oppose them,) was comparatively mild in its rav- 
ages on Mount Hope Xeck. The fact that here was 
the head tribe of the nation, and the residence of its 
principal Chief, together with the fertility of the soil, 
and uncommon facilities for fishins:, caused it to be 
more thickly settled than any other portion of Mas- 
sasoit's domains. There were, probably, in 1620, 
not less than four large Indian villages on the Neck, 
— one at Mount Hope, another at the head of the 
Cove, near the Asylum in Bristol, a third at Kicke- 
muit, around the spring there, and a fourth at So- 
wams, or Sowamset, in Warren. In fact the whole 
Neck along the shore, on all sides, abounds in evi- 
dences of Indi^^n occupation, in the great mass of 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 13 

shells mixed hi the soil to the depth of several feet. 
Human bones have been often disinterred in plough- 
ing up the soil, and Indian implements, warlike and 
domestic, have been unearthed in ahiiost every sec- 
tion that has been brought under cultivation. Forty 
or fifty years ago, these relics were very numerous 
and w^ere regarded with but slight interest. Of late, 
however, they have become scarce, and it is to be 
regretted that the towns which abounded in these 
evidences of aboriginal occupancy, did not, years 
ago, take steps to collect specimens of them. I have 
no doubt they would be regarded with deep interest 
by future generations.* 

Massasoit, it is known, visited the English in 
March following their landing at Plymouth in De- 
cember, 1G20, and readily entered into a treaty with 
them, which was faithfull}^ kept on his part to the 
day of his death, a period of more than forty years. 
He was undoubtedly prompted to make this treaty 
in order to gain an ally as important and valuable as 
the English, with their fire-arms would be, to protect 
him against his rival, Canonicus, the Sachem of the 
powerful tribe of Narragansetts, who inhabited the 
lands on the Avest side of the bay, and who had 
already, taking advantage of the weak condition to 
which the plague had reduced the Wampanoags, en- 

*The Faculty of Brown University have recently started a museum at that 
institution, in which, through the zealous efforts of Professor J. W. P. Jenks, 
Curator, are already gathered many articles of rare interest. Stone imple- 
ments and other Indian relics are a prominent feature of the collection. 

2 



14 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

crouched upon their domains. They had taken pos- 
session of Aquetneck (Rhode Island), and the ishmd 
was afterwards sold by JNIiantonomi to John Clarke 
and others for a settlement. 

A few months after this visit of Massasoit to the 
Pilgrims, Governor Bradford decided to send a depu- 
tation to return his visit, for the following specified 
objects : To make him a present ; to learn the exact 
place of his residence; to see the country; to con- 
firm the treaty made in March, and to procure seed 
corn. Accordingly, on the 3d of Jul}^ 1621, Ed- 
Avard Winslow (afterwards Governor of Plymouth 
Colony) and Stephen Hopkins, with Squanto for a 
guide, commenced their journey through the woods 
from Plymouth to Narragansett Bay. By consulting 
Winslow's narrative in Morton's Memorial, their 
route is easily traced. Their first stopping place 
was Namasket (Middleborough), at which point 
they arrived about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the 
inhabitants entertaining them with joy, in the best 
manner they could, with a kind of bread they called 
Maizium and the spawn of shads, which then they 
got in abundance; "insomuch," says Winslow, "as 
they gave us spoons to eat them ; with these they 
boiled musty acorns, but of the shads we ate heartily." 
They continued their journey, and at sunset arrived 
at a point on Taunton river now known as Titicut. 
Here they found many of the men of Namasket fish- 
ing upon a weir, which they made on the river, and 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 1,5 

caught abiiiKliince of bass. "These welcomed us 
also," sa3^s the narrative, "gave us of their (ish and 
\ve theui of our victuals, not doubtinof we should 
have enousfh wherever we came. There we lods^ed 
in the open fields, for houses they had none, though 
they spent most of the summer there. Upon it (the 
river) are and have been many towns, it being a 
o^ood lens^th. Thousands of men have lived there 
which died in a great phigue not long since. Upon 
this river dwelleth Massasoit. It cometh into the 
sea at Narragansett Bay." The next morning, after 
breakfast, they continued their journey, being accom- 
panied by some half dozen savages, about six miles 
along the south bank of the river to a known shoal 
place for crossing. As they attempted to cross over, 
their passage was resisted by two savages on the 
opposite bank of the river, one of them a very old 
man, who with great courage demanded to know 
who they were. Finding they were friends, the 
savages welcomed them with such food as they had. 
Proceeding on their journey, the weather became 
very hot for travel ; "yet the country [was] so well 
watered that a man could scarce be dry, l)ut he 
should have a spring at hand to cool his thirst, 
besides small rivers in abundance. But the savages 
will not willingly drink but at a spring head." 
Passing along they met a man with two women 
which had been at rendezvous by the salt water, and 
they had baskets full of roasted crab fishes and other 



IG THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

dried shell fish, of which the party partook and then 
continued their journey. Not long after they came 
to a town of Massasoit's, called Mattapoiset, (at 
Gardner's Neck in Swanzey), where they ate oysters 
and other fish. From there they went to Pokanoket, 
but Massasoit was not at home. He was sent for, 
and when he arrived they saluted him with a dis- 
charge of their guns. 

"For answer to our message, he told us we were 
welcome, and he w^ould gladly continue that peace 
and friendship which was between him and us, and, 
for his men, they should no more pester us as they 
had done ; also, that he would send to Paomet and 
would help us with corn for seed, according to our 
request." 

He then made a "great speech" to his men, the 
substance of which was that he was Massasoit, com- 
mander of the country about them, naming some 
thirty different places, and they should bring their 
skins unto the English, as he desired. To all which 
they answered they were his, and would be at peace 
with the English, and bring their skins to them. 
"Late it grew, but victuals he offered none; for 
indeed he had not any, being he came so newly 
home. So we desired to go to rest. He laid us on 
the bed with himself and his wife, they at the one 
end and we at the other, it being only planks laid 
a foot from the ground and a thin mat upon them. 
Two more of his chief men, for want of room, 



THE WAMPANOAO IXDIANS. 17 

pressed by aiul upon us, so that we were worse 
weary of our lodging than of our journey. 

"The next day being Thursday, many of their 
Sachems or petty governors came to see us, and 
many of their men also. About one o'clock Massa- 
soit brought two fishes that he had shot ; they were 
like bream, but three times so big and better meat. 
These being boiled, there were at least forty looked 
for share in them, the most eat of them. This meal 
alone we had in two nights and a day, and had not 
one of us bought a partridge, we had taken our 
journey [homeward] fasting. Very importunate 
he was to have us stay with them longer. But we 
desired to keep the Sabbath at home, and feared we 
should either be light-headed for want of sleep, for 
what with bad lodo:ino^, the savaofes' barbarous sins^- 
ing (for they used to sing themselves asleep), lice 
and fleas within doors and musquitoes without, we 
could hardly sleep all the time of our being there, 
we much fearing if we should stay any longer, we 
should not be able to recover home for want of 
strength. So that on Friday morning, before sun- 
rising, we took our leave and departed, Massasoit 
beins both <rrieved and asliamed that he could not 
better entertain us." This lack of food at Massa- 
soit's home indicates a precarious state of subsistence 
with the Indians. Had there been a supply at Mount 
Hope, or anywhere within reach, Massasoit would 
undoubtedly have dispatched messengers for it on 



18 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

the niirht of the arrivjxl of his distinguished guests 
at his wigwam. May not famine, or a lack of nour- 
ishing- food, have been the primary cause of the 
great sickness that had proved so fatal to the Indians 
just before the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth ? 
On their return journey to Plymouth they were sup- 
plied Avith some food by the natives, but were thor- 
oughly drenched with a great rain, and reached 
home Saturday night, "wet, weary and surbated " 

In March, 1623, news came to Plymouth that 
Massasoit was sick and "like to die, and that at the 
same time, there was a Dutch ship driven so high on 
the shore by stress of weather, right before his 
dw^elling, that till the tides increased she could not 
be got off. Now it being a commendable manner of 
the Indians, when any, especially of note, are dan- 
gerously sick, for all that profess friendship to them 
to visit them in their extremity, therefore it was 
thought meet, that as we had ever professed friend- 
ship, so we should now maintain the same by observ- 
ing this their laudable custom ; and the rather, 
because we desired to have some conference with 
the Dutch." To that end the Governor again dis- 
patched Winslow, accompanied by John Hamden, 
with Ilobbamok for guide, on the mission. The 
first night they lodged at Namasket. The next day 
they came to a ferry on Taunton river, in Corbatant's 
country. There they were told that Massasoit was 
dead and that day buried, and that the Dutch w^ould 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 19 



be gone before they could get thither, having hove 
off their ship already. "This news," says the narra- 
tive, "struck them blank, but especially Hobbamok, 
who desired that we might return with all speed. 
Considering now that he being dead, Corbatant was 
the most like to succeed him, and that we were not 
above three miles from Mattapoiset, his dwelling- 
place, I thought no time so fit as this to enter into 
more friendly terms with him, and the rest of the 
Sachems thereabouts. I resolved to j)ut it in prac- 
tice, if Master Hamdeu and Hobbamok durst attempt 
it with me, whom I found willing to that or any 
other course might tend to the public good." 
So they went towards Mattapoiset. "In the way 
Hobbamok manifesting a troubled spirit, brake forth 
into these speeches: ^Neen womasu Sagimus ! 
Neen womasu Sagimus ! My loving Sachem ! My 
loving Sachem ! Many have I known, but never 
any like thee.' And turning him to me, said : 
* Whilst I lived I should never see his like amongst 
the Indians, saying he was no liar ; he was not 
bloody and cruel, like other Indians ; in anger and 
passion he was soon reclaimed ; easy to be recon- 
ciled towards such as had offended him ; and that he 
governed his men better with few strokes than others 
did with many ; trul}' loving where he loved ; yea, 
he feared we had not a faithful friend left among the 
Indians, showino: how he oft times restrained their 
malice, etc., continuing a long speech, with such 



20 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

sii^ns of lamentation and unfeigned sorrow, as it 
would have made the hardest heart relent." When 
they reached Mattapoiset, Corbatant, the Sachem, 
was not at home but at Pokanoket, which was some 
five or six miles off. Corbatant's wife gave them 
friendly entertainment. Inquiring again concerning 
Massasoit, they thought him dead but knew no cer- 
tainty. Whereupon one was hired to go with all 
expedition to Pokanoket, to knov>^ the certainty 
thereof, and withal to acquaint Corbatant of their 
presence at his house. The messenger returned just 
before sunset with the news that Massasoit was not 
dead, though there was no hope that they would find 
him living. Upon this they were much revived, and 
set forward w^ith all speed, though it was late within 
night ere they got thither. About two of the clock 
that afternoon the Dutchman departed, so that in 
that respect their journey was "frustrate." 

When they reached Massasoit's residence, they 
found the house so full of men that they could scarce 
get in, though the Indians used their best diligence 
to make way for them. "There were they in the 
midst of their charms for him, making such hellish 
noise, as it distempered us that were well, and there- 
fore unlike to ease him that was sick. When they 
had made an end of their charming, one told him 
that his friends, the English, were come to see him. 
Having understanding left, but his sight was wholly 
gone, he asked who was come? They told him. 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 21 

He desired to speak with me. When I eame to him, 
he put forth his hand to me which I took. Then he 
said twice, though very inwardly : 'Keen Winsnow?' 
(for they cannot pronounce the letter 1), which is to 
say: 'Art thou Winslow?' I answered: 'Ahhe,' 
that is, 'Yes.' Then he doubled these Avords : 'O, 
Winslovy, I shall never see thee again.'" 

Then Hobbamok, under instructions from Wins- 
low, told Massasoit that "the Governor hearing of 
his sickness, was sorry for the same, and though, by 
reason of many businesses he could not come him- 
self, yet he sent me [Winslow] with such things for 
him as he thought most likely to do him good in 
this his extremity, and whereof if he pleased to take, 
I Avould presently give him, which he desired, and 
having a confection of many comfortable conserves, 
etc., on the point of my knife, I gave him some 
which I could scarce o^et throus^h his teeth. When 
it was dissolved in his mouth he swallowed the juice 
of it, whereat those that were about him much re- 
joiced, saying he had not swallowed anything in two 
days before." 

It would make this paper too long to give the 
details of the simple means used by Winslow for his 
restoration, although they are quite interesting. Suf- 
fice it to say, that God blessed these means, and his 
sight soon came to him, and he was so far improved 
the next day, as to desire food. Within two days 
thereafter, his restoration was so well assured, that 



22 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Winslow and his conipjinion decided to return to 
Plymouth. Massasoit was very grateful, acknowl- 
edo-in«>- the Enoflish as the instruments of his preser- 
vation. He said: "Now I see the English are my 
friends and love me ; and whilst I live, I will never 
forget this kindness they have showed me." 

At their leaving, Massasoit called Hobbamok to 
him, and privately (none save two or three braves 
who were of his council being present) revealed a 
plot of the Massacheuseucks, against Weston's Col- 
ony, and so against them of Plymouth ; saying that 
the people of Nauset, Paomet, Succonet, Mattachiett, 
Manomet, Agowaywam, and the Isle of Capawack, 
were joined with them ; himself, also, in his sickness, 
was earnestly solicited ; but he would neither join 
them, nor give way to any of his. Therefore, as w^e 
respected the lives of our countrymen, and our own 
after safety, he advised us to kill the men of Massa- 
cheuseucks, who were the authors of this intended 
mischief. And whereas we were wont to say, we 
would not strike a stroke till they first began ; if, 
said he, upon this intelligence, they make that an- 
swer, tell them, when their countrymen at Wicha- 
guscusset are killed, they being not able to defend 
themselves, that then it will be too late to recover 
their lives ; nay, through the multitude of adversa- 
ries, they shall with great difficulty preserve their 
own, and therefore he counselled without delay to 
take away the principals, and then the plot would 



THE WAMPANOAO INDIANS. 23 

cease. With this, he chtirged him thoroughly to :ic- 
quniut mc by the way, that I might inform the Gov- 
ernor thereof, at my first coming home. Being fitted 
for our return, we took our leave of him; who re- 
turned many thanks to our Governor, and also to 
ourselves, for our labor of love ; the like did all they 
that were about him. So we departed. 

" That night through the earnest request of Cor- 
batant, who till now remained at Sowams, or Poka- 
noket, we lodged with him at Mattapoiset. By the 
way I had much conference with him ; so likewise at 
his house, he being a notable politician, yet full of 
many jests and squibs, and never better pleased than 
when the like are returned again upon him. Amongst 
other things he asked me, if in case he were thus 
dangerously sick, as Massasoit had been, and should 
send word thereof to Patuxet for maskiet, that is, 
physic, whether then Mr. Governor would send it ; 
and if he would, whether I would come therewith to 
him. To both which I answered, yea; whereat he 
gave me many joyful thanks. Here we remained 
only that night, but never had better entertainment 
amongst any of them." 

The day following Hobbamok told Winslow of the 
private conference with Massasoit, and all that he 
charged him withal. They arrived home in time to 
prevent Capt. Standish from embarking on a friendly 
visit to the Massacheuseucks,atthe importunate solici- 
tation of an Indian of Paomet (a part of their plot to 



24 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

get the "mail of war" in their power), who was still 
present on their arrival. The narrative concludes : 
" But their secret and villainous purposes, being, 
through God's mercy, now made known, the Gover- 
nor caused Capt. Standish to send him (the Indian) 
away without any distaste, or manifestation of anger, 
that he might the better effect and bring to pass that 
which should be thouirht most necessary." 

This timely disclosure of Massasoit enabled Miles 
Standish to organize his notable army of eight men, 
who surprised the Massacheusett Indians before they 
had time to execute their plottings, and by the vigor 
of his movements, and personal prowess, effectually 
suppressed all further attempts to carry them into 
execution. 

These reciprocal acts of kindness and friendship 
between the English and Massasoit, very naturally 
caused their relations to be more intimate, and the 
route through the woods between Plymouth and 
Mount Hope Neck, soon became a well-worn path. 
As early as 1632, the Plymouth settlers had a trad- 
ing post at Sowams. So warns was probably the 
name of the river (what is now known as Warren 
river), where the two Swanzey rivers meet, and run 
together for near a mile, when they empty themselves 
in the Narragansett Bay. The trading post was sup- 
posed to have been located on the Barrington side of 
the river, on the land known as "Phebe's Neck." 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 25 

This hitter, Jiiul Aqiictneck, were the two places 
luiiiied by Roger Williams to John Clarke, and his 
associates, as desirable locations for settlement. 
Inasmuch, says Callender, "as they were deter- 
mined to go out of every other jurisdiction, Mr. 
Williams and Mr. Clarke, attended with two other 
persons, went to Plymouth to inquire how the case 
stood. They were lovingly received, and answered 
that Sow^ams was the garden of their Patent. But 
they were advised to settle at Aquetneck, and prom- 
ised to be looked on as free, and to be treated and 
assisted as loving neighbors." And so John Clarke, 
William Coddington, John Coggeshall, and the other 
gentlemen associated with them, who left Boston, 
"for peace sake, and to enjoy the freedom of their 
consciences," settled on Rhode Island in March, 1638. 

W^inslow's narratives of his two visits to Massasoit, 
were published in London, the first in 1622, and the 
latter in 1624. They are both republished in full in 
Morton's New England Memorial. There is no 
doubt that Massasoit's residence, at the time of these 
visits, was on the Sowams river, in what is now the 
village of Warren. The late Guy M. Fessenden, in 
his little History of Warren, which contains a num- 
ber of interesting facts in this connection, clearly 
demonstrates this. At the foot of Baker street, in 
that town, is a living spring of water, called Massa- 
soit's Spring, and doubtless he resided, during a por- 
tion of the year, neai- this spring. In the winter 



2G THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

months, pro])al)ly most of the Iiidums on the Neck, 
made their liome at Monnt Hope, Avhich Avas heavily 
wooded, and the conformation of the surface such as 
to alford great protection from the cold north winds 
and storms. As soon as the shores were clear of 
snow and ice, in the spring, they would naturally 
flock to them, for shell-lish, and watch for the com- 
ing of the early sea fish. A note in Morton's Memo- 
rial, says Massasoit " resided at So warns, or Sowamp- 
set, at the confluence of two rivers in Rehoboth, or 
Swanzey, though occasionally at Mont Haup, or 
Mount Hope, the principal residence of his son 
Philip." That the Indians and their Chiefs changed 
their residences from plac6 to place, within their 
domains at diflerent seasons of the year, there is 
abundant proof. Clark, in his history of Norton, 
speaks of a Well known resort in that town, as the 
summer residence of King Philip. 

Roger Williams, when banished from Massachu- 
setts, left Salem and journeyed through the wilder- 
ness to Narragansett Bay, in mid- winter, and un- 
doubtedly visited Massasoit, or Ousemequin, at 
Pokanoket (whose acquaintance he had before made) , 
and perhaps spent days with him, visiting different 
portions of the Bay, and making himself familiar 
with the "lay of the land." It is known that he ob- 
tained from Ousemequin the grant of land at Seekonk 
upon which he first settled and built. 

Isaack De Rasicres, a French Protestant, who was 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 27 

Secretary of the Colony of New NetherlaiKls, in 
10)27 was dispatched on an embassy to New Ply- 
mouth, for the purpose of opening trade between 
the two colonies. This was the first interview or 
intercourse between the Dutch of New York and the 
Plymouth Pilgrims. De Rasieres made a favorable 
impression upon Governor Bradford, who speaks of 
him as "a man of fair and genteel behavior." On 
his return to Holland near the close of the same 
year, 1627, he wrote a very interesting letter, des- 
cribing the situation of New Plymouth, and the 
manners and customs of the Pilgrims. He also gives 
the following description of the customs of the In- 
dians — the Wampanoags. He says : "The savages 
[there] practice their youth in labor better than the 
savages round about us [meaning Ncav Netherlands] 
— the young girls in sowing maize, the young men in 
hunting. They teach them to endure privation in the 
field in a singular manner, to wit: when there is a 
youth who begins to approach manhood, he is taken 
by his father, uncle, or nearest friend, and is con- 
ducted, blindfolded, into a wilderness, in order that 
he may not know the way, and is left there by night 
or otherwise, with a bow and arrows, and a hatchet 
and a knife. He must support himself there a whole 
winter with what the scanty earth furnishes at this 
season, and by hunting. Towards the spring they 
come again, and fetch him out of it, take him home, 
and feed him up again until May. He must then go 



28 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

out again eveiy morning with the person who 
is ordered to take him in hand ; he must go 
into the forest to seek wild herbs and roots which 
they know to be most poisonous and bitter ; these 
they bruise in water and press the juice out of them, 
which he must drink, and immediately have ready 
such herl)s as will preserve him from death or vomit- 
ing; and, if he cannot retain it, he must repeat the 
dose until he can support it, and his constitution 
becomes accustomed to it, so that he can retain it. 
Then he comes home, and is brought by the men 
and women, all singing and dancing, before the 
Seckima, and if he has been able to stand it all out 
well, and if he is fat and sleek, a wife is given to 
him." And we may add, that after passing through 
such an ordeal, he would be entitled to one, and 
a good one, too. 

The Esquimaux in Greenland have a custom, as 
Telated by Doctor Hayes, somewhat similar to this — 
where a young man must show his prowess by hunt- 
ing alone the Polar bear, and kill and return with 
his game to the settlement, before he is deemed 
worthy to have a wife — and then he must show his 
fleetness of foot, running the gauntlet of all the 
impediments the old women can put in his way to 
catch his loved one, who makes great efforts to 
escape him, but is finally caught, of course. 

Massasoit had a large family. Besides his wife, 
it is known that he had two brothers, Quadequina 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 29 

aiul Akkompoin ; three sons, the first known by the 
names of Mooauum, Wamsitta and afterwards as 
Alexander, the second as Pometaconi, Metaconi and 
afterwards as Philip, and the third as Sunconewhew ; 
also a daughter [see Appendix ^], w^hose name is 
not known, but Philip in a letter to the Plymouth 
government, gives an excuse for not visiting them, 
as requested, that his sister is "verey sike." This 
letter was written in 1062, and was addressed to 
Governor Prince. It is, amono^ other interestinof 
memorials, in the archives of the Pilgrim Society at 
Plymouth. There is to be added to those already 
named of Massasoit's family, Namumpum or Weeta- 
nioe, "Queen of Pocasset," the wife of Alexander; 
Philip's wife, Wootouekanuske, sister to Weetamoe, 
and Philip's son. 

Quadequina is described, at the time he was first 
known to the English, as "a very proper, tall young 
man, of a very modest and seemly countenance." 
He held a high position in his brother's government. 

Akkompoin held an important position in Philip's 
ofovernment, sisfnino^ deeds of land and treaties made 
by Philip, and was also his counsellor in Philip's 
war. 

Wamsitta or Alexander, the oldest son of Massa- 
soit, was associated with his father in the Wam- 
panoag government for a number of years previous 
to Massasoit's death, and after that event succeeded 
to the Sachemship. 



30 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Massiisoit died in IGlU. Published documents 
prove him to have been alive in May, 1661, and 
verv probably so late as September in that year. In 
a letter of Roger Williams, of the date of December 
13, 1661, he refers to Massasoit as being dead. 
He writes: "Ausamaquin, the Sachem aforesaid, 
also deceased." If, when he first visited the English 
at Plymouth, and was described as "in his best 
years," he was about forty years old ; he must have 
been nearly or quite eighty years of age, at the time 
of his death. 

The personal appearance of Massasoit, when he 
first became known to the English, is thus given : 
"The King is a portly man, in his best years, grave 
of countenance, spare of speech." Trumbull, in his 
"Indian Wars," says: "He seems to have been a 
most estimable man. He was - just, humane and 
l)eneficent, true to his word, and in every respect 
an honest man." Other early writers also speak of 
him in a similar strain. That he was no ordinary 
man is abundantly evident. Fessenden, in his His- 
tory of Warren, to which I have before referred, 
pays him the following tribute : "Massasoit, though 
a heathen, proves himself true to the dictates which 
the light of nature suggested. He possessed all the 
elements of a great mind and a noble heart. With 
the advantages of civilized life and the light which 
a pure Christianity would have supplied, he might 
have achieved a brilliant destiny, and occupied a 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. ol 

high niche in the temple of fame. In all the 
memorials which have come clown to us, Massasoit's 
character stands above reproach. No one has ever 
charged him with evil. From the time when he 
repaired to Plymouth, March 22, 1621, to welcome 
the Pilgrims and to tender to them his friendship, till 
the time of his death, — when they were weak and 
defenceless, encountering sickness, want and death, 
when at ahiiost any moment Massasoit could have 
exterminated them, in no one instance did he depart 
from those plain engagements of treaty which he 
made when he plighted his fliith to strangers. He 
was not only their uniform friend, but their protec- 
tor, at times when his protection was equivalent to 
their preservation." 

I cannot more fittingly close this notice of Massa- 
soit than by showing how dearly his memory was 
cherished by the descendants of the Pilgrims, more 
than a hundred years after his death. At the first 
celebration of the "Landing of the Pilgrims," or 
" P'orefather's Day," which took place at Plymouth 
on Friday, December 22d, 1769, under the auspices 
of the Old Colony Club, which was organized in 
that year, the fifth regular toast was given as fol- 
lows : 

"To the memory of Massasoit— our first and best frientl, :ind 
ally of the natives.'- 



THE WAMPANOAG TRIBE OF INDIANS. 

PART II. 

[Uead before the Khode Island Historical Society, in Providence, March IG, 1875.1 



In my first paper on the Wampanoag Tribe of 
Indians, read before this Society, on Tuesday eve- 
ning, March 17th, 1874, I stated that Wamsitta, the 
oldest son, was associated with his father, Massasoit, 
in the Wampanoag government, for a number of 
years previous to Massasoit's death, and after that 
event, which occurred in the hitter part of the year 
1661, succeeded to the Chief Sachemship. 

In 1()62, Wamsitta, and his younger brother, 
Pometacom, repaired to Plymouth, and "professing 
great respect," requested that English names might 
be given them. The Court, in response to their 
request, named them respectively Alexander and 
Philip — it is supposed, after Alexander the Great, 
and Philip of Macedon. Very soon after this event, 
and in the same year, Governor Prince, of Plymouth, 
learning that Alexander was plotting rebellion against 
the English, sent Major Josiah Winslow, with an 
armed force, to arrest him, and bring him to Ply- 



THE WAMrANOAG INDIANS. 33 

month, to answer to the charge. Some time before 
this, Governor Prince had sent a messenger to Alex- 
ander, at Monnt Hope, to inform him of these re- 
ports of his liostile intentions, and to request him to 
attend the next Court in Plj'mouth, to vindicate 
himself from these charges. Alexander, it is stated, 
denied the charges, and promised to attend the Court 
as requested. But when the Court met, instead of 
making his appearance, he was found to be on a visit 
to the Sachem of the Narragansetts, his pretended 
enemies. 

And let us here consider for a moment, the changed 
condition of the two races. The lands of the In- 
dians were rapidly passing away from the native pro- 
prietors to the new-comers, and English settlements 
w^ere everywhere springing up in the wilderness. 
As the forests were cleared, and the settlements in- 
creased, the wild game, on which the Indian largely 
relied for his subsistence, grew scarce, while the 
more valuable of the fishing resorts were monopo- 
lized by the English. It was evident that the Indian 
power was rapidly declining, while that of the white 
man was on the increase. And as is forcibly de- 
picted by Abbott, in his " History of King Philip," 
"with prosperity came avarice. Unprincipled men 
flocked to the colonies ; the Indians were depised, 
and often harshly treated ; and the forbearance 2chkh 
marked the early intercourse of the Pilgrims icith the 
mitives teas forgotten,'" It cannot be denied that 



34 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

many of the savages had been greatly demoralized 
by contact with the Avhites, and were constantly 
committing depredations upon them, shooting their 
cattle, piUaging their houses, and sometimes com- 
mitting mnrder. We may imagine that it was quite 
as difficult for the Sachems to restrain these vaga- 
bonds, as it is for civilized society to keep in check 
its bad classes. It will thus be seen that there were 
constant sources of irritation upon both sides, and 
ample cause for alienation aud suspicion. 

When Governor Prince learned of Alexander's 
visit to the Narragansetts, and of his apparent treach- 
ery, he "assembled his counselors, and, after delib- 
eration, ordered Major Winslow, afterward governor 
of the colony, to take an armed band, go to Mount 
Hope, seize Alexander by surprise, before he should 
have time to rally his warriors around him, and take 
him by force to Plymouth." This was certainly a 
deliberate act ofivar. " Major Winslow immediately 
set out, with ten men, from Marshfield, intending to 
increase his force from the towns nearer to Mount 
Hope. When about half way between Plymouth 
and Bridge water, they came to a large pond, proba- 
bly Moonponsett Pond, in the present town of Hali- 
fax. Upon the margin of this sheet of water, they 
saw an Indian hunting lodge, and soon ascertainecj 
that it was one of the several transient residences of 
Alexander, and that he was then there, with a large 
party of his warriors, on a hunting and fishing 
excursion. 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 35 

"The colonists ctiutiously approached, and saw 
that the guns of the Indians were all stacked outside' 
of the lodge, at some distance, and that the whole 
party were in the house, engaged in a banquet. As 
the Wampanoags were then, and had been for forty 
years, at peace with the English, and as they were 
not at war with any other people, and were in the 
very heart of their own territory, no precautions 
whatever were adopted against surprise. 

" Major Winslow despatched a portion of his force 
to seize the guns of the Indians, and with the rest 
entered the hut. The savages, eighty in number, 
manifested neither surprise nor alarm in seeing the 
English, and were apparently quite unsuspicious of 
danger. Major Winslow requested Alexander to 
walk out w^ith him for a few moments, and then, 
through an interpreter, informed the proud Indian 
chieftain that he was to be taken under arrest to Pl}^- 
mouth, there to answer to the charge of plotting 
against the English. The haughty savage, as soon 
as he fully comprehended the statement, was in a 
towering rage. He returned to his companions, and 
declared that he would not submit to such an indig- 
nity." There being some indications of resistance, 
the stern major presented a pistol to the breast of 
Alexander, and said : ''I am ordered to take you to 
Plymouth. God willing, I shall do it, at whatever 
hazard. If you submit peacefully, you shall receive 
respectful usage. If you resist, you shall die upon 
the spot." 



3(3 TllK WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

The Indians were disarmed, and could do nothing ; 
Alexander was almost insane with vexation and rage 
in finding himself thus insulted, and yet incapable of 
making any resistance. His followers, conscious of 
the utter helplessness of their state, entreated him 
not to resort to violence, which would only result in 
his death. They urged him to yield to necessity, 
assuring him that they would accompany him as his 
retinue, that he might appear in Plymouth with the 
dignity ])eHtting his rank. 

The colonists immediately commenced their return 
to Plymouth with their illustrious captive. There 
was a large party of Indian warriors in the train, with 
"Wetamoe, the wife of Alexander, and several other 
Indian women. The day was intensely hot, and a 
horse was tendered to the chieftain that he might 
ride ; but he declined the ofier, preferring to walk 
with his friends. When they arrived at Duxbiiry, 
as they did not want to thrust Alexander into a 
prison. Major Winslow received him into his own 
house, where he guarded him with vigilance, yet 
treated him courteously, until orders could be re- 
ceived from Governor Prince, who resided on the 
Cape at Eastham. At Duxbury, Alexander and his 
train were entertained for several days with the most 
scrupulous hospitality. But the imperial spirit of 
the \Vami)anoag chieftain w^as so tortured by the 
humiliation to which he was subjected that he was 
thrown into a burning fever. The best medical at- 



THE WAJIPANOAO INDIANS. 37 

tendance was furnished, and he was nursed with the 
u m t eare, but he g.ew daily worse, and sorsoW 
ous f ars were entertained that he would die. 

hpin , , .''" '''"■'■'""'■'' ^""'^^y «l'"-med for their 
beloved ch.eftain, entreated that they nii<rht be Zr 
...tted to take Alexander home, pron'i™;^' h' rey 
ould re urn with him as soon as he reco;ered, S 
hat, .n the meantime, the son of Alexander slou 
be sent to the English as a hostage. The co 
asse.Ued to this arrangement. Th^ Indians tol 
»»''»PPy kmg, dying of a crushed spirit, upon 
l-tter, on the.r shoulders, and entered the f;il of 
the forest. Slowly they travelled with their burden 
unt.l they arrived at Tethquet, now Titicut, on T un- 
ton nver. There they took eanoes. The; had " 
however paddled far down the stream, before it be- 
came evident that their monarch was dyin^. Thev 
anded and placed him upon a grassy mound beneath 
a majest.c tree and in silence the stoical warriors 
gathered around to witness the departure of his 
sp.m to the realms of the lied Man's immortality." 

wiJ^'^; r^''°''' '"'' "'"™"^<^ "ft'^e t'-«gic event 
with this striknig picture :— 

" What a scene for the painter ! The sublimity of 
the forest, the glassy stream, meandering beneath 
the overshadowing trees, the bark canoes of the 
natives moored to the shore, the dying chieftain, 
with his warriors assembled in stern sadness around 
hmi, and the beautiful and heroic Wetamoe, holdin<r 
4 ° 



38 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

ill her lap the head of her dying lord ; and as she 
wiped his clammy brow, nursing those emotions of 
revenge which tinally desolated three colonies with 
flame, blood, and woe." 

The forcible seizure of Alexander upon his own 
hunting grounds, and its fatal sequence, must have 
been a rude shock to the Indians, stoics though they 
were. It was a bold departure from the considerate 
and pacific policy which had marked the intercourse 
of the Plymouth government with the Wampanoags, 
during the life time of Massasoit. Is it to be won- 
dered at that they were greatly exasperated ? While 
the colonists generally admitted that Alexander died 
of a broken and crushed spirit caused by his arrest, 
is it surprising that the Indians believed the story 
that his death was caused by poison administered by 
the English? Wetamoe fully believed it, and from 
that time forth, was the unrelenting foe of the colo- 
nists. She was by birth the Squaw Sachem of the 
Pocassets, and could rally around her three hundred 
of her own warriors. She was sister to Wootone- 
kanuske, the beloved wife of Philip. 

These were the untoward circumstances that sur- 
rounded Philip, w^hen he suddenly found himself 
Chief Sachem of the great Wampanoag tribe. 
Early historians assert, what we may readily believe, 
that almost from the time of his accession, he was 
jealous of the growing power and encroachments of 
the whites, and brooded over the wanino^ streno-th 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 39 

and failing gio,.y „f ,,5^ 

not I)e foi-o-otten in fl.;, ^''""''^ 

nf th I '^ , ' ' '" ^'"s connection, tlmt it was one 
of the cherished customs of the Indians to take ve > 
geance „p„„ any who injn.-ed them or their kindrei 
vhenever opportunity oifered, though it mi^ht be a 
long t,me after the offence was committed. ^Goolin 
otheT:; t '" *'^^^^^-'-'— "If-ymurther ; 

gu.mty look upon themselves concerned to revenue 
hat wrong, or murder, unless the business be tak^n 

Lf- '' ^^^T''' "^ ^^^•"PompeHgue, or other sat- 
- action, which their custom admits, to satisfy for 
all wrongs, yea for life itself " ^ 

An incident is related of Philip, that occurred in 
1665 by which we may judge something of his 
proud and miperious spirit. He learned that an In- 
dian had spoken disrespectfully of his father, Massa- 
soit. Traducing the dead, was by Indian law, an 
offence so grave as to demand the life of the offender 
by the hand of the nearest of kin of the party tra- 
di'ced. I hihp, accordingly, with a band of braves, 
repaired to Nantucket in search of liis victim, a 
Piaying Indian, named Assasamoogh. The latter 
was sitting at the table of a colonist, when a mes- 
senger rushed in and informed him that Philip, the 
avenger, was at the door. He fled from house to 
louse, closely pursued by Philip with uplifted toma- 
iiawk, to the great amazement of the English at this 



40 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

exhibition of Iiulian vengeance. At length Assasa- 
moogh leaped a high bank and plunging into the 
forest eluded his pursuer. The English were anx- 
ious to save the life of the offender, and for that 
purpose sought an interview with Philip. But he 
refused to leave the island until a ransom was paid. 
The sum paid was nineteen shillings, that being all 
the money there was on the island. With this, it 
was said, he returned home to Mount Hope satisfied. 
Philip frequently visited Plymouth and the other 
English settlements in that colony, and became well 
acquainted with the inhabitants. He traded wnth 
them, and exchanged hospitalities. And yet, it is 
supposed, that all this time, the insult which had 
been offered to his brother Alexander was ranklino: 
in his heart, and calling for revenge. Where special 
acts of kindness had been shown him he remembered 
them, even after hostilities commenced, to the saving 
of a number of Eno^lish households. Fessenden 
relates the instance of Hugh Cole, who with others, 
in 1(>69, had purchased five hundred acres of land of 
Philip, in Swanzey, on the west side of Cole's river, 
and settled there. At the breaking out of the war, 
two of Cole's sons were made prisoners by the 
Indians, and taken to Philip's headquarters at Mount 
Hope. Philip, from his friendship for their father, 
sent them back, with a message that he did not wish 
to injure him, but as his young warriors might dis- 
obey his orders, advised him to repair to Rhode 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 4^ 

Island for siifetv. Mr Tnlo f.,ii,r 

ready and started with all his iinnily. Tlfev Ind 
proceeded hut a short distance, (probily i„ f b^ 
down the Bay,) when he beheld his housi i„ L^Z 

west s>de of Touisset Neck, on Kickemuit river in 
he present town of Warren, where the farm I, d 
the we,, he dug in 1677, are yet in the possei. f 
hshneal descendants. Philip^iso performed a sim- 
ilar act of kindness, m protecting the family of Mr 
James Brown, one of the constituent members if 
Uie Swanzey church. Clark, in his -History o 
Norton," states that not a house was burnt by the 
Indians m the town of Taunton during the war, for 
fear that some harm would come to ^he Leonards 
who resided in that town, and who had often re- 
paired guns, and performed other jobs in iron work 
or Philip gratuitously,_so strict were his orders in 
the premises. 

As early as 1671, the Plymouth colonists had be- 
come jealous of the growing influence Philip had 
obtained over all the New England tribes, with the 
exception, perhaps, of the xMohegans.-and profes- 
sing alarm at what they termed "increasing indica- 
tions that he was preparing for hostilities," sent an 
imperious command to him to come to Taunton and 
explain his conduct. For some time Philip made 
divers rather weak excuses for not compiyino- ^vith 



42 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

this demand, at the same time reiterating assurances 
of his friendly feelings. " He was as yet," says Ab- 
bott, "unprepared for war, and was very reluctant to 
precipitate hostilities, which he had sufficient sagac- 
ity to foresee would involve him in ruin, unless he 
could first form such a coalition of the Indian tribes 
as would enable him to attack all the English settle- 
ments at one and the same time. At length, how- 
ever, he found that he could no longer refuse to give 
some explanation of the measures he was adopting, 
without giving fatal strength to the suspicions 
against him. Accordingly, on the 10th of April of 
this year, he took with him a band of warriors, 
armed to the teeth, and painted and decorated with 
the most brilliant trappings of barbarian splendor, 
and approached within four miles of Taunton. 
Here he established his encampment, and with native- 
taught punctiliousness, sent a message to the Ply- 
mouth <2fovernor, informinij him of his arrival at that 
spot, and requiring him to come and treat with him 
there. The governor, either afraid to meet these 
warriors in their own encampment, or deeming it 
beneath his dignity to attend the summons of an 
Indian chieftain, sent Roger Williams, with several 
other messengers, to assure Philip of his friendly 
feelings, and to entreat him to continue his journey 
to Taunton, as a more convenient place for their 
conference. Philip, with caution, which subsequent 
events proved to have been well-timed, detained 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 43 

these messengers as hostages for his safe return, and 
then, with an imposing retinue of his painted braves, 
proudly strode forward toward the town of Taunton' 
When he arrived at a hill upon the out-skirts of the 
village, he again halted, and warily established sen- 
tinels around his encampment. 

"The governor and magistrates of the Massachu- 
setts colony, apprehensive, it would seem, that the 
Plymouth people nnght get embroiled in a war with 
the Indians, and anxious, if possible, to avert so 
terrible a calamity, had dispatched three commis- 
sioners to Taunton, to endeavor to promote recon- 
ciliation between the Plymouth colony and Philip. 
These commissioners were now in conference with 
the Plymouth court. When Philip appeared upon 
the hill, the Plymouth magistrates were quite eager 
to march and attack him, and take his whole party 
prisoners, and hold them as hostages for the o-ood 
behavior of the Indians. AVith no little difficulty 
the Massachusetts commissioners overruled this rash 
design, and consented to go out themselves and per- 
suade Philip to come in and confer in a friendly 
manner upon the adjustment of their affairs. 

"Philip received the Massachusetts men with re- 
serve, but with much courtesy. At first he refused 
to advance any farther, but declared that those who 
wished to confer with him must come where he was. 
At length, however, he consented to refer the diffi- 
culties which existed between him and the Plymouth 



44 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

colony, to the Massachusetts commissioners, and to 
liold the conference in the Taunton meeting-house. 
But that he might meet his accusers upon the basis 
of perfect equality, he demanded that one-half of the 
meetino-.house should be appropriated exclusively to 
himself and his followers, while the Plymouth peo- 
ple, his accusers, should occupy the other half. 
The Massachusetts commissioners, three gentlemen, 
were to sit alone, as umpires. We can but admire 
the character developed by Philip in these arrange- 
ments. 

"Philip managed his cause, which was evidently a 
difficult one, with great adroitness. He could not 
deny that he was making great military prepara- 
tions, but he declared that this was only in anticipa- 
tion of an attack from the Narragansett Indians. 
But it was proved that at that moment he was on 
terms of more intimate friendship with the Narra- 
gansetts than ever before. When the English com- 
plained of Indian outrages, he brought charge for 
charge against them ; and it cannot be doubted that he 
and his people had suffered much from the arrogance 
of individuals of the dominant race. Philip has had 
no one to tell his side of the story, and we have re- 
ceived the narrative only from the pens of his foes. 
They tell us that he was at length confounded, and 
made full confession of his hostile designs, and ex- 
pressed regret for them." 

As the result of the conference, a treaty was 



THE WAMPANOAO INDIANS. 45 

entered into, in which mutual friendship was pled-od 
and in which Philip consented to the extniordi.miy 
measure of disarming his people, and of surrender- 
ing their guns to the governor of Plymouth, to be 
retained by him so long as he should distrust the 
sincerity of their friendship. Philip and his warri- 
ors immediately gave up their guns, seventy in num- 
ber, and promised to send in the rest within a ^iven 
time. It is related of one of Philip's Captainsfthat 
when he learned that his Chief had consented to 
surrender their guns, he was so enraged, that he 
threw down his arms, and said he would never own 
him again, or fight under him : and from that time 
ever after adhered to the English. It was further 
agreed in the council, that, in case of future troubles, 
both parties should submit their complaints to the 
arbitration of Massachusetts. 

This settlement, apparently so important, amounted 
to nothing. It was said of the Indians, that they 
were ever ready to sign any agreement whatever 
which would extricate them from a momentary diffi- 
culty ; but such promises were broken as readily as 
they were made. It is certain that Philip sent in no 
more guns, but was busy as ever gaining resources 
for war, and entering into alliances with other tribes. 
He denied this, but the people of Plymouth thought 
they had ample evidence that such was the case. 

The summer thus passed away, while the aspect 
of affairs was daily growing more threatening. As 



46 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Philip did not send in his guns according to agree- 
ment, and as there was evidence, apparently conchi- 
sive, of his hostile intentions, the Plymouth govern- 
ment, late in August, sent another summons, order- 
ing the Wanipanoag chieftain to appear before them 
on the loth of September, and threatening, in case 
he did not comply, to send out a force to reduce him 
to subjection. At the same time they sent commu- 
nications to the colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island, stating their complaints against Philip, and 
soliciting their aid in the war which they thought 
evidently approaching. 

"In this affair," I quote again from Abbott, 
"Philip gained a manifest advantage over the Ply- 
mouth colonists. According to the terms of the 
treaty, all future difficulties were to be referred to 
the arbitration of Massachusetts as an impartial 
umpire. But Plymouth had now, in violation of 
these terms, imperiously summoned the Indian chief- 
tain, as if he were their subject, to appear before 
their courts. Philip, instead of paj^ing any regard 
to this arrogant order, immediately repaired to Bos- 
ton with his councilors, in strict accord with the 
treaty. It so happened that he arrived in Boston 
on the very day in which the governor of Massachu- 
setts received the letter from the Plymouth colony. 
The representations which Philip made seemed to 
carry conviction to the impartial umpires of Massa- 
chusetts that he was not severely to be censured. 
Ay hen the letters from Plymouth were read to him, 



THE WAMPANOAG JNDIANS. 47 

he replied that his predecessors had always hv.n 
ineudly with the Plymouth governors, and that an 
engagement to that end was made by his father and 
renewed by his brother, and when he took the '<.ov- 
ernment, was made by himself; but it was only an 
agreement for «m%, not for subjection. He had 
acknowledged himself a subject of the Kin- of 
England, but he averred that he knew not thai he 
and his were subjects to the Plymouth govermnent. 
I'ra^rn^ Indians, he said, were subjects, and had 
officers and magistrates appointed for them, but he 
and his people had no such thing with them, and 
therefore were not subjects/^ The inference from this 
IS, that Philip having acknowledged himself a sub- 
ject of the King of England, the Plymouth govern- 
ment claimed that he and his tribe were under the 
government of that colony. Freeman, in his His- 
tory of Cape Cod, in a note, page 26S, says :— 

" Notwithstanding that in treaties from time to 
time, the Indians have acknowledged themselves 
subjects to the King of England, they seem not to 
have comprehended the meaning of the term. They 
ever retained an idea of independency to which 
English subjects had no pretence." 

Philip desired to be shown a copy of the engage- 
ment, and requested the governor of Massachusc^tts 
to procure it for him. As a result of this confer- 
ence, the Massachusetts authorities wrote to Ply- 
mouth as follows : — 



48 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

"We do not uuderstand how Philip h;ith sub- 
jected himself to you. But the treatment you have 
o-iven him and your proceedings toward him, do not 
render him such a subject as that, if there be not a 
present answering to summons, there should pre- 
sently be a proceeding to hostilities. The sword 
once drawn and dipped in blood, may make him as 
independent upon you as you are upon him." 

Soon after this, a general council of the united 
colonies was called to assemble at- Plymouth on the 
24th of September. Philip agreed to meet this 
council in a further effort to adjust their differences, 
and at the appointed time was present, with a retinue 
of warriors. Another treaty was made, similar to 
the Taunton treaty, and the two parties again sepa- 
rated with protestations of friendship ; but, says 
Abbott, "quite hostile as ever at heart." 

Three years now passed away of reserved inter- 
course and suspicious peace. The colonists were 
continually hearing rumors from distant tribes of 
Philip's endeavors, and generally successful endeav- 
ors, to draw them into a coalition. The conspiracy, 
so far as it could be ascertained, included nearly all 
the tribes in New England, and extended into the 
interior of New York, and along the coast to Vir- 
ginia. The Narragansetts, it w^as said, agreed to 
furnish four thousand warriors. Other tribes, ac- 
cording to their power, were to furnish their hun- 
dreds, or their thousands. Hostilities were to be 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 49 

commenced in the Spring of IGTG, by ji simultaneous 
assault upon all the settlements, so that none of the 
English could go from one portion of the country to 
aid another. In the latter part of the year 1G74, 
the signs of the conspiracy were so palpable, that 
the Governor of Massachusetts sent an ambassador 
to Philip, demanding an explanation of these threat- 
ening appearances, and soliciting another treaty of 
peace and friendship. Philip's haughty reply to 
this ambassador was : "Your governor is but a sub- 
ject of King Charles of England. I shall not treat 
with a subject. I shall only treat with the king, 
my brother. When he comes, I am ready." 

The war was waged against the Indians by the 
"United Colonies," so called, which comprised the 
three colonies of Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, 
and New Plymouth. Rhode Island was not included. 
But as early as 1667, letters were received by the 
Rhode Island authorities from the neighboring colo- 
nies, calling their attention to the rumors that were 
rife of the treacherous designs of the Indians against 
the English, and invoking the good offices of Roger 
Williams and others to pacify them. In the inter- 
vals between the sessions of the General Assembly, 
says Mr. Bartlett,* the Governor and Council (which 
embraced the Governor, Deputy Governor, and 
Assistants), held frequent meetings, particularly 
during the periods when the colony was in danger 

* Rhode Island Colonial Records, volume ii, page 191. 



50 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

from invasion, or from attacks of tlie Indians. 
(England was at war at this time, 1667, with the 
French as well as the Dutch.) A separate record 
was kept of the proceedings of this Council. It was 
entitled : "The Book of Records, containing the acts 
and orders made by the Governor and Council, both 
general and particular, since the first of May, 1667." 
At the second meeting of the Council, held on the 
10th of May : "It is ordered that Thomas Willmott 
(probably Willett) of 8ecunk, hath informed the 
Council, now sitting, of such deportments of the 
Indians, especially of Philip, which giveth great 
occasion of suspicion of them and their treacherous 
desiofus. It is therefore ordered that the Indians 
residing upon the island shall be forthwith disarmed 
of all sorts of arms, and that the captain and mili- 
tary officers meeting with any Indian armed, they 
are authorized to seize the arms, and by the authority 
from the magistracy of either town, the constables 
or their deputies, are to search and seize any arms 
to them belonging ; and the said arms, wherever so 
seized, to be delivered to the Governor or some 
magistrate, that so they may be safely kept, and at 
his or their discretion to be restored. It is also left 
to the magistrates of Providence and Warwick to do 
as they shall think meet, as referring to disarming 
the Indians among them. And it is ordered, that if 
in Khode Island, or in any other towns, any Indian 
shall be taken walking in the night time, he shall be 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. f)! 

seized by the wiitcli {ind kept in custody till morn- 
ing, and brought before some magistrate, which said 
magistrate shall deal with him according to his dis- 
cretion, and the demerit of the person so offending." 

On the 21st of May, 1667, "at a meeting of the 
Council," it is ordered that a letter be sent to the 
Commissioners of Plymouth, of thankful acknowl- 
edgment for their civility in writing to us concerning 
their proceedings with Philip and his men with 
respect to the rumors of their conspiracies ; and it is 
further ordered that one of each town of the Colony 
be chosen to treat with Mosup, Nennecraft (Ninne- 
grit) and Cothannequant (Canonchet) concerning the 
rumors aforesaid; and the parties chosen are, for 
Newport, Mr. Peleg Sandford ; for Providence, Mr. 
Wm. Harris; for Portsmouth, Mr. Wm. Baulston ; 
and for Warwick, Mr. John Green; and these or 
the major part of them, are fully empowered to 
appoint the place of treaty, and time or times there- 
of, and to appoint interpreters, and to make return 
thereof with all convenient speed to the General 
Council ; but in case the said Sachems shall refuse 
to meet and treat, then the Commissioners are to 
protest in his Majesty's name against the said 
Sachems." 

A copy of the letter sent to the Sachems follows : 

" Loving Friends and Honorablk Neighbors : — 
The Governor and Council having met this 21st of 
May, have thought fit and necessary to acquaint you 



52 THK WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

that they have commissionated four of themselves 
to treat with you conceruing the reports of the con- 
spiracies of the Indians against the English, that so 
if it may l)e, they may be better informed of the 
truth and extent thereof; and for that end and 
purpose desire and require you in his Majesty's 
Dame, to give them a meeting at Warwick on Tues- 
day next, which will be the 28th of this instant, 
where accordingly you may expect to meet with 
them. So we take leave and remain your friends. 
"By the appointment of that Council. 

"W. Dyke, Secretary." 

In 1669 letters were received by the Governor 
and Council, from the Governors of Connecticut and 
New York, and also from Major Mason, charging 
that Ninnicraft and the Lonsf Island Indians were 
plotting against the English, in combination with the 
French ; and further, that he, Ninnicraft, had held 
a great dance, at which Philip was represented by 
seven of his chief men. The authorities of Rhode 
Island at once took steps to examine Ninnicraft and 
other Sachems, and after a most searching inquir}^ 
became satisfied there was no real ground for the 
charge, and so informed the authorities of Connecti- 
cut and New Y(U'k. Before this, however, they sent 
the following letter to Governor Prince, of New 
Plymouth, under date of 22d July, 1669 : — 

" Sir : — These coming in safety to your hands. 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 53 

will inform you that whereas, we have had informa- 
tion of a plot of the Indians to cut off the Eno-lish 
which we doubt not but you have also had the full 
report of; and we having used endeavors to search 
out the thing, have sent some discreet persons over 
to see if they could find Ninnicraft's temper at this 
juncture ; and in examination they received indiffer- 
ent answers by way of excusing himself, and denyino* 
any knowledge of such a plot ; only when he was 
asked why and to what end seven of Philip the 
Sachem's ancient men had been with him, the said 
Ninnicraft, for nine or ten days, then together, some 
of them being of Philip's Council, he gave no satisfac- 
tory answer to that point, but put it off with a 
laugh and very slight return, which gives us some 
further cause of suspicion ; and have therefore sent 
for him to be examined before us, and dealt with as 
we may find cause thereupon ; and do represent thus 
much to yourselves that you may, if you think fit, 
question Philip, of Mount Hope, upon the premises. 
And whereas. Major Mason writes that it is too 
apparent there is a plot contriving or contrived 
between the French and almost all the Indians in the 
country ; it doth the more allarum us to take notice 
of it, seeing such an eminent person doth so repre- 
sent it; and do entreat if anything do appear to 
yourselves, you will be pleased to communicate it 
to (Sir), 

*' Your affectionate friends and servants, 

"EiCHARD Bailey, Secretary." 



54 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Governor Lovelace, of New York, addresses a let- 
ter to Governor Benedict Arnold, under date of Au- 
gust 24th, 1669, in which he acknowledges the receipt 
of the hitter's letter of 29th July, in answer to his, 
and says : — " I must render yon my most particular 
thanks for those civilities you were pleased to afford 
me in your friendly expressions ; next, I cannot Init 
kindly resent that care you have shown in settling 
the minds of some over-credulous persons amongst 
us (who being possessed with a panic fear), were 
apt to entertain very melancholy thoughts accordingly 
as they were instilled by the intelligence and infor- 
mation of some fond Indians to the great disturbance 
of the public peace ; and by it animating the heathens, 
who take courage from our fear, might be apt to 
break forth into extravagances not to be redressed 
without a war, and all the miseries attending it ; but 
those apprehensions are now vanished, and men's 
minds, by reason of your excellent letter, well paci- 
fied and settled, neither do I believe they will too 
hastily again give credence to the information of a 
faithless and false generation." All which clearly in- 
dicates that even as early as 16(59, the public mind 
was greatly agitated about the Indians, and ready to 
believe the most extravagant and unreasonable stories 
of their plottings. 

At a meeting of the Governor and Council at New- 
port, August 30th, 1671, in response to a letter re- 
ceived from the General Assembly of New Plymouth, 
the following reply was made : — 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 55 

"Much Honored Gentlemen: — Yours, by the 
much respected Mr. Thomas Hinckley and Mr. Con- 
stant Southworth, we have received, and by confer- 
ence with those gentlemen and our own observations, 
are sensible that there are more than ordinary causes 
to suspect and believe the Indians are treacherousl}^ 
inclined against the English in general, and that 
therefore we are bound by the highest obligations, 
with united hearts and hands to use our uttermost 
endeavors to resist and defeat (through the assistance 
of the Almighty) their bloody and perfidious de- 
signs. In order whereunto, our General Assembly 
did, in theirs by Mr. Cornell of the 16th of June last, 
propose unto you that some persons might be em- 
powered by yourselves and us, to meet and confer 
upon the reasons, ways and means, why and how it 
ought, and may be accomplished. And to that end, 
did nominate and appoint our honored Governor, 
Capt. John Cranston, Mr. William Baulston, Mr. 
William Carpenter, and Capt. John Greene, Assist- 
ants ; or any three or four of them to meet and treat 
with so many of yours at Taunton. This act of our 
General Court is still in force, and is that which we 
conceive may be the only expedient to come to a se- 
rious debate and agreement in a matter of so great 
concern ; and which, if you please to embrace, we 
shall readily attend, where all difficulties may be 
examined, advantages considered, reasons on both 
sides weio^hed, and such an agreement concluded, as 



56 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

we hope by the blessing of God, may be for the secu- 
rity and peace of these parts and the English inhabi- 
tants ; and if in the meantime, and before this be 
accomplished, the Indians shall make any attempts 
upon any of his Majestj^'s subjects, we shall use our 
utmost endeavors in our stations and places to sup- 
press and subdue them. 

" Honored Gentlemen, — you have our real inten- 
tions herein, which as these proceed from our hearty 
and unfeigned desires of the peace and safety of our 
countrymen in general, and of yourselves our loving 
neighbors in particular, so we shall, to the best of 
our abilities (God willing), perform the same." 

The letter above referred to, of the 16th of June, 
to Plymouth Colony, does not appear in our Colonial 
Records, as published. 

The next day, the 31st of August, steps were taken 
to put the Colony in a state of defence, and to notify 
the several towns to be watchful, and keep such an 
eye over the Indians, as to prevent being surprised 
by them. 

At a session of the General Assembly at Newport, 
November 2nd, 1671, a letter was ordered to be sent 
to the Governor of New Plymouth, of which I give 
the major portion : — 

"These are to give you to understand that your 
loving and wellcome lines, both of September 14th, 
and 2yth last past, have been communicated unto us 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 57 

by our honored Governor, &c., the contents of both 
being very much obliging, and doth indeed move us 
to be thankful unto the Most High for preserving us 
yet in peace, and diverting the cloud which he was 
pleased to let hang over the country, threatening a 
storm of war, or the sad effects that attend thereupon, 
as massacreing, and destrojn ng persons and estates, 
which would inevitably have followed upon an abso- 
lute breach with the natives, as we were well aware 
of, and it exercised our minds and put us upon labor 
and charge to withstand or prevent it. Neither can 
we, but together with you, acknowledge the goodness 
of the Lord in so mercifully sparing the country. 
We also acknowledge your prudent and patient pro- 
ceedings in that matter, and your candid respect and 
great affection expressed unto us, in giving us sea- 
sonable information of your apprehensions, resolu- 
tions, and conclusions had, taken and made concern- 
ing those mtttters. And you may assure yourselves, 
that you may expect from us, as occasion shall re- 
quire it, such demonstrations of our love and duty to 
yourselves, as is becoming us, not only as we are 
English subjects to one and the same King : but also 
as neighbors and friends very nearly obliged to love 
and serve 3^our Honors in all sincerity. And it is 
not a little grievous unto us, that we cannot procure 
the like cause from our Honored the Colony of Con- 
necticut, from whom we met with very hard, harsh, 
and undesirable passages, which we would be glad 



58 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

they would forbear. But they nre put upon it by the 
ambition and coveteousness of some few." 

This misunderstanding with Connecticut grew out 
of the conflicting chiims of the two Colonies to the 
King's Province of Narragansett. A person not 
familiar with the geography of our country, might 
meet with some difficulty in finding the State of 
Rhode Ishmd on a map of the United States, even 
with her present boundaries ; but if the claims of 
Massachusetts on the east, and Connecticut on the 
west, had been made good before the King in Coun- 
cil, you would have had to search for it with a micro- 
scope. We were being ''ground between the upper 
and the nether millstone." They have been elbowed 
back, somewhat, upon both sides of our Bay. 

It would be interestino^ to know the cause or causes 
which operated to prevent Rhode Island from being 
invited to join with the United Colonies in the war 
against Philip, or if invited, why she did not respond. 
This Colony suffered, in common with her sister 
Colonies of Massachusetts and New Plymouth, from 
the attacks of the natives, and the forces of the 
United Colonies marched into her territory, and at- 
tacked and destroyed the Indian Fort at South Kinofs- 
town, without her consent. I do not know if there 
be papers in the archives of the State, explaining 
these points ; if so, they do not appear in the R. I. 
Colonial Records as published, and from which I 
have copied the foregoing correspondence. In fact, 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 51) 

no letters are given, if any passed, between Rhode 
Island and the other New England Colonies on the 
Indian troubles, after the year 1671, up to the close 
of the war. Can it be there was no correspondence 
between them during all these years of dread alarm 
and woe? It is probable, I think, that the disputed 
boundaries between Rhode Island and her adjoining 
neighbors, was one cause, if not the chief cause, of 
the non-affliation. But I must not dwell longer upon 
this matter, or I shall weary your patience. 

According to Gookin (Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. 
i.), there were live principal Tribes of Indians in 
New England, when the Pilgrims landed at Ply- 
mouth, viz. : — The Pequots, the Narragansetts, the 
Pokanokets, or Wampanoags, the Massachusetts, 
and the Pawtucket. The Pequots, as a distinct 
tribe, were annihilated in 1637, leaving only four at 
the time of which we write. Of the Pawkunnawkutts, 
Gookin, writing in 1674, says : "They were a great 
people heretofore. They lived to the east and 
northeast of the Narragansetts ; and their chief 
Sachem held dominion over divers other petty saga- 
mores ; as the sagamores upon the island of Nan- 
tucket, and Hope, or Martha's Vineyard, of Nawsett, 
of Mannamoyk, of Saw^kattukett, Nobsquasitt, Mat- 
akees, and several others, and some of the Nipmucks. 
Their country, for the most part, falls within the 
jurisdiction of New Plymouth Colony. This people 
were a potent nation in former times, and could raise, 



60 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

as the most credible and ancient Indians affirm, about 
three thousand men. They held war with the Nar- 
ragansetts, and often joined with the Massachusetts, 
as friends and confederates, against the Narragansetts. 
This nation, a very great number of them, were swept 
away by an epidemical and unwonted sickness in the 
years 1612 and 1613, about seven or eight years 
before the English first arrived in those parts, to 
settle the colony of New Plymouth. Thereby Divine 
Providence made a w^ay for the peaceable and quiet 
settlement of the English in those nations. What this 
disease was, that so generally and mortally swept 
away, not only these, but other Indians, their neigh- 
bors, I cannot well learn. Doubtless it was some 
pestilential disease. I have discoursed with some old 
Indians, that were then youths, who say that the 
bodies all over were exceeding yellow, describing it 
by a yellow garment they showed me, both before 
they died and afterward." 

One writer gives the English population of New 
England, in 1674, at about fifty-live thousand, and 
that of the aboriginals at less than one-half that 
number. If this l)e so, together with the great ad- 
vantage possessed by the whites in provisions, disci- 
pline, and munitions of war, it Avould seem that 
there could not, at any time, have been a doubt as 
to the final result of the struggle. Many of the In- 
dians had been converted to Christianity, and had 
adopted the habits of civilized life, and schools and 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. Ill 

churches were established among thein. Of these 
"Praying Indians," the Christian life, it would seem, 
w^as somewhat irregular, and there were frequent 
lapses among them, to barbarism again. So much 
so, that some of the colonists always persisted in 
spelling the word "praying" with the letter e. Af- 
ter the Indians were suitably instructed, some of the 
more intelligent and energetic among them, received 
appointments to office, such as petty judges and con- 
stables. With such commissions they were said to 
be highly pleased, and would sometimes discharge 
their official duties with ludicrous pomposity. The 
following warrant, directed to an Indian constable, 
was issued by one of these native magistrates. For 
"sententious brevity" it is in striking contrast with 
our modern writ : — 

"I Hihoudi, you Peter Waterman, — eJeremy 
Wicket, quick you take him, fast you hold him, 
straight you bring him before me, Hihoudi." 

As has already been stated, it was the intention of 
Philip to commence the war in 1676, but the death 
of John Sassamon, a Christian Indian, early in the 
spring of 1675, hastened the event. Sassamon, who 
was a Wampanoag Indian, but who had been "bred 
up in a profession of the Christian religion," and 
educated at Harvard University, was employed as a 
school -master at Natick, the Indian town. Upon 
some misdemeanor, however, he fled from his place 
to Philip, who at once employed him as his private 

6 



()2 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

secretary. He is represented to have been a cun- 
ning, plausible fellow, and it is stated that Philip 
trusted him with all his affairs and secret counsels. 
After a time, ms J find it recorded in "Barber's His- 
tory of 2s'ew England," — and from which I quote — 
" whether upon the sting of his own conscience, or by 
the frequent solicitations of Mr. Eliot, that had known 
him from a child, and instructed him in the princi- 
ples of our religion, who w^as often laying before him 
the heinous sin of his apostacy, and returning back to 
his old vomit, he was at last prevailed with to for- 
sake Philip, and returned back to the Christian In- 
dians at Natick, where he was baptized, manifesting 
public repentance for all his former offences ; and did 
apply himself to preach to the Indians. Yet having 
occasion to go up with some others of his countrymen 
to Namasket (Middleborough), whether the advan- 
tao'e of fishing, or some such occasion, it matters not. 
Being there, not far from Philip's country, he had 
the occasion to be much in the company of Philip's 
Indians and Philip himself; by which means he dis- 
cerned that the Indians were plotting anew against 
us ; which, out of ftiithfulness to the English, the said 
Sassamon informed the Governor of ; adding, also, 
that if it were known that he revealed it, he knew 
they would presently kill him." 

There had been so many alarms which had not 
proved serious, that this story of Sassamon was not 
at first believed ; but there appearing much concur- 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 03 

rent testimony from other sources, made it appear 
the more probable. Philip, by reason of the inquiries 
made of him, concerning these fresh rumors of 
trouble, was convinced that Sassamon had betrayed 
him, and it was said, took steps to have him killed for 
his perfidy. 

Early in the spring of 1675, Sassamon was miss- 
ing, and his friends, in searching for him, not long 
after, found his hat and gun upon the ice of Assa- 
wompset Pond in Middleborough, near a hole, and in 
such position as to leave the impression that he had 
accidentally broken through the ice, and was drowned. 
His body was soon found, and although his friends, 
particularly one David, observed some bruises about 
his head, they buried him without further inquir^^ 
However, these stories comins: to the ears of the Gov- 
ernor some time after, he had the body taken up, 
and upon examination, became satisfied that Sassa- 
mon had been murdered. The English decided that 
this was a crime which came under the cognizance of 
their laws. Three Indians connected with the coun- 
cil of Philip, were arrested on suspicion of being his 
murderers. The prisoners were tried before the 
Plymouth Court, in June, and were all adjudged 
guilty and sentenced to death, the jur}^ consisting of 
twelve Englishmen and four Indians. The con- 
demned were at once executed, two of them contend- 
ing to the last that they were entirely innocent, and 
knew nothinof of the deed. One of them, it is said, 



04 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

when upon the point of death, confessed that he wiis a 
spectator of the murder, which was connnitted by the 
other two. Barber says that, " by a strange provi- 
dence, an Indian was found, that by accident stand- 
ing unseen upon a hill, had seen them murdering the 
said Sassamon, but durst never reveal it, for fear of 
losing his own life likewise, until he was called to 
the Court at Plymouth, or before the Governor, 
where he plainly confessed what he had seen. The 
murderers were convicted by his undeniable testi- 
mony, and other remarkable circumstances.^^ 

One of these " remarkable circumstances " is thus 
stated by Dr. Increase Mather : — 

"When Tobias (one of the accused) came near the 
dead bod}^ it fell a bleeding on fresh, as if it had 
been newly slain, albeit it was buried a considerable 
time before that." It was a superstition with our 
Pilgrim Fathers, that the body of a murdered person 
would commence bleeding afresh on the approach of 
the murderer. 

AVhether guilty or not, the summary execution of 
three of Philip's subjects, greatly enraged and alarmed 
him, as, knowing that he was charged with ordering 
Sassamon's death, he feared that he also might be kid- 
napped and hung. His young warriors were roused 
to frenzy, and could no longer be controlled. They 
commenced a series of amioyances upon the whites, 
such as shooting their cattle, frightening the women 
and children, and insulting wayfarers wherever they 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. ()5 

were met. They had imbibed the superstition, prob- 
ably taught them by their powwows, that the party 
which should commence the war and shed the first 
blood, would be defeated. They therefore endeav- 
ored, by a show of force and by insult, to provoke 
the English to strike the first blow, Philip keepino* 
his men constantly armed, marching them from place 
to place, and receiving all the strange Indians that 
he could gather from all quarters. 

The Court of Plymouth took no further note of 
these proceedings than to forbid, on a penalty, the 
lending of arms to the Indians, and to direct a mili- 
tary watch to be established in the towns borderino- 
on Philip's territory, hoping that Philip, finding 
himself not likely to be arraigned by the Court on 
account of the murder, would remit his hostile pre- 
parations, and this war cloud would blow over, 
as others had before it. 

On the 14th of June, at the urgent solicitations of 
Mr. James Brown, of Swanzey, the Governor dis- 
patched a letter to Philip, filled with amicable profes- 
sions, and disclaiming all hostile intentions, but com- 
plaining of his movements, and advising him to dismiss 
all the strange Indians that had resorted to him, and to 
give no credit to the sinister reports made to him of 
the English. This letter, it is said, he answered 
only with threats and menaces of war. Church, in 
his history of Philip's war, in which he acted so im- 
portant a part, relates that at this interview Philip's 



gg THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

youni? men "would fain have killed Mr. Brown," 
who, Avith Samuel Gorton (son of Samuel Gorton of 
Warwick) as interpreter, and two other men, bore 
the letter, "but Philip prevented it; telling them 
that his father had charged him to show kindness to 
Mr. Brown." 

Church was also informed at the same time, by 
Peter Nannuit, the second husband of Alexander's 
widow, Wetamoe, that the Indians with Philip were 
so impatient for war, that "Philip was forced to 
promise them that on the next Lord's day, when 
the English were gone to meeting, they should rifle 
their houses, and from that time forwiird, kill their 
cattle." Wetamoe and her husband were at variance 
in the war, she taking sides with her own race, and 
he fighting under Church with the English. 

Church received this information on the 15th of 
June, and was so impressed with its importance 
that he immediately started for Plymouth, to com- 
municate it to the Governor, where he arrived early 
the next morning. Governor Winslow, now con- 
vinced that a war with Philip was unavoidable, 
ordered the whole force in the vicinity to march 
towards Mount Hope, and dispatched messengers to 
the Governor of Massachusetts, informino: him of 
the hostile movements of the Indians, and soliciting 
immediate assistance. 

On Sundav, the 20th of June, accordinsf to 
Philip's promise, eight of his men, fully armed, . 
left Mount Hope, and made a raid into the adjoining 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 67 

town of Swanzey, now Warren, in this State. They 
called at the door of a colonist, and demanded per- 
mission to grind their hatchets. He informed them 
that it Avas the Lord's day, and that it would be 
a violation of God's command if he should let them 
do it. They replied : " We know not who your God 
is, and we shall grind our hatchets, for all you or 
your God either." They then went to another house, 
and demanded and helped themselves abundantly to 
food. Proceeding along the road they chanced to 
meet a colonist Avhom they took into custody, and 
kept for some time, and then dismissed him, de- 
risively telling him he "should not work on the 
Lord's day, and that he should tell no lies." As 
they continued on the road, they began to shoot the 
cattle which they saw in the fields. They encoun- 
tered no opposition, as the houses were at some 
distance from each other, and most of the men were 
absent at public worship. At last they came to a 
house where the man was at home. They shot his 
cattle, and then entered the house and demanded 
liquor. This was refused, and they attempted to 
get it by violence. The man, at last provoked 
beyond endurance, seized his gun and shot one of 
them, inflictins: a serious thouiifh not mortal wound. 
The first blood was now shed, and by the English, 
and the drama of the war was opened. The savages 
retired, bearing their wounded companion with 
them, and threatening war and slaughter to all the 
colonists. 



THE WAMPANOAG TRIBE OF INDIANS. 

PART III. 

[Read before the Khode Island Historical Society, in Providence, March 28, 1876 ] 



My second paper, read before this Society, on the 
evening of March 16th, 1875, closed with an account 
of the raid made by a niuiiber of Philip's Indians, 
from Mount Hope, upon the inhabitants of Swanzey, 
on Sunday, June 20th, 1675 — the opening scene in 
Philip's War. The news of these outrages quickly 
spread through Plymouth Colony, and led the au- 
thorities to take prompt measures to protect the in- 
habitants of the towns bordering on Mount Hope. 
Church, in his ^'Indian Narrative," says, "an express 
came the same day (June 20th) to the Governor of 
Plymouth Colony, who immediately gave orders to 
the captains of the towns to march the greatest part 
of their companies, and to rendezvous at Taunton on 
Monday night, where Major Bradford, (son of Ex- 
Governor William Bradford,) was to receive them, 
and dispose them under Captain Cudworth, of 
Scituate. The Governor (Josiah Winslow) desired 
Mr. Church to give them his company, and to use his 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 69 

interest in their behalf, with the gentlemen of Rhode 
Ishiiicl. He complied with it, and they marched next 
day, Monday, June 21st." 

The Court of Plymouth, besides ordering the forces 
of the Colony to march toward Mount Hope, sent 
word to the authorities of Massachusetts Bay, to 
hurry forward their forces ; and also proclaimed a 
fast, in view of the threatened difficulties with the 
Indians, to be observed throughout the Colony, on 
the following Thursday, June 24th. 

The proclamation reads as follows : — 

"The Council of this Colony, taking into their 
serious consideration, the awful hand of God upon 
us, in permitting the heathen to carry it with inso- 
lency and rage against us, appearing in their great 
hostile preparations, and also some outrageous car- 
riages, as at other times, so in special, the last Lord's 
day, to some of our neighbors at Swanzey, to the ap- 
parent hazard, if not real loss of the lives of some 
already ; do therefore judge it a solemn duty, incum- 
bent upon us all, to lay to heart this dispensation of 
God, and do therefore commend it to all the churches, 
Ministers, and people of this Colony, to set apart the 
24th day of this instant, June, which is the 5th day 
of this week, wherein to humble ourselves before the 
Lord for all those sins whereby we have provoked our 
good God sadly to interrupt our peace and comfort, 
and also humbly to seek his face and favor in the gra- 



70 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

cious continuance of our peace and privileges, and 
that the Lord would be entreated to go forth with 
our forces, and bless, succeed, and prosper them, 
deliverinof them from the hands of his and our ene- 
mies, subduing the heathen before them, and return- 
ing them all in safety to their families and relations 
again ; and that God would prepare all our hearts 
humbly to submit to his good pleasure concerning us. 
" By order of the Court of N. P., 

"Nathaniel Morton, Secretary, 
"Plymouth, June 22, 1675." 

Massachusetts, before the actual outbreak occurred, 
had determined to raise one hundred men for the 
assistance of Plymouth ; but before complying with 
the urgent appeal of Plymouth to hurry them for- 
ward, they thought it best to send messengers to 
Philip, at Mount Hope, to divert him, if possible, 
from his designs. But the messengers, seeing some 
of the Swanzey men lying murdered in the road, did 
not think it safe to go any further, and returned as 
fast as possible, with their intelligence to Boston. 

The people of Swanzey and Rehol)oth, in anticipa- 
tion of an outbreak, had selected certain houses to 
garrison, and immediately after the raid of the 20th 
of June, the inhabitants beffiin to srather into these 
retreats. There were two permanent garrison houses 
in Rehoboth, and one in Swanzey, into which the 
people gathered, and where they rendezvoused dur- 
ing the war. They were continually guarded in time 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 71 

Of danger, unci were so strongly fortified and well- 
pro visioned, as to enable a few men to sustain a lor... 
seige against a large body of savages. Woodcock't 
garrison in Rehobotli (now Attleborough), was 
named from John Woodcock, who built the house 
and occupied it before the war and after it, durinc. 
h.s hfe, for a public tavern. Bliss, in his "History 
of Rehoboth," says, "this garrison was in Attle- 
borough, near the Baptist Meeting House, on the 
spot where Hatch's Tavern now stands. A public 
house has been kept there, without intermission 
from July 5, 1670, to this time, September, 1835, a 
period of nearly one hundred and sixty-five years! 

"It is situated on the Boston and Providence turn- 
pike. The old garrison was torn down in 1806, and 
a large and elegant building erected on the spot, bS 
feet by 60, three stories high. The old garrison 
had stood one hundred and thirty-six years, when it 
was pulled down ; yet a great part of the timber was 
said to be perfectly sound— 'pierced, however, by 
many a bullet received in Philip's war.' A small 
remnant, one room of the old garrison, may still be 
seen adjoining the old wood-house. A relict of it, 
also, it is said, is preserved in the archives of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society." So wrote Bliss, 
in 1835, but whether the "small remnant, one room 
of the old garrison, adjoining the wood-house," may 
still be seen, I am unable to say. The other garri- 
son house, in Rehoboth, stood on the southeast side 



72 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

of the Common (Seekonk), on the spot occupied by 
the house of Phanuel Bishop. 

The principal garrison-house in Swanzey was near 
Miles' Bridge, in the northern part of the town. It 
was called " Miles' Garrison," from Rev. John Miles, 
the minister of Swanzey, whose house was garri- 
soned. It stood a short distance west of Miles' 
Brido-e, near the site of the residence of the late 
Mason Barney. This Bridge is over Palmer, or 
So warns river, about three miles north of Warren, 
and connects the northwestern part of Swanzey with 
Mount Hope Neck. Bliss, in a note on page 77, 
"History of Rehoboth," says : — "In the year 1833, 
in digging or enlarging a cellar on this spot (the site 
of the Miles' Garrison), a large number of cannon 
balls were dug out of the ground ; which leads me 
to suppose that this was the site of the garrison. It 
is not mentioned by any historian, that cannon were 
used by the English at Swanze}^ at the time of Philip's 
war. But I know of no other purpose for which 
those balls could have been deposited there. The 
place where they were found, I conjecture to have 
been the spot of Mr. Miles' cellar." 

Several other houses were occupied temporarily 
as garrisons ; but the three above described were the 
strongest, and were always resorted to in the times 
of greatest danger. Bourn's garrison at Mettapoiset, 
was one of the former, and Brown's garrison at Wan- 
namoiset, was another. Mettapoiset was what is now 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 73 

known .s Gardner's Neck, in Swanzey, east of War- 
ren. It IS SIX miles from Mount Hope, and about the 
same distance from Miles' Bridge. The exact site 
ot Bourn s house is not known, but was probably well 
down the neck, and near the shore, convenient for 
the transportation of the women and children in boats 
down Mount Hope Bay, to Rhode Island. Brown's 
garrison was in what is now the southern part of East 
I^rovidence, on the road from Providence to W^arren 
near to and on the opposite side of the road of the 
residence of Samuel Viall. Mr. Viall's house is well 
known as the site of the Thomas Willett house 
Bicknell, 111 his "Historical Sketches of Barrinirton," 
says the bricks in the chimney of Mr. Viall's "house 
are the same ones used by Mr. Willett, and were either 
made by the Dutch in New York, or imported from 
Holland. There are two doors in the present house 
that were taken from the old house, and which still 
preserve the somewhat ftmtastic and ornamental paint- 
mgof two hundred (or more) years ago. One of 
the original doors taken from Captain Willett's 
dwelling, and his sword, are in the possession of the 
city of New York." 

A few words in description of Mount Hope Neck, 
and we will return to the events of the war. Mount 
Hope Neck is about nine miles in length, two miles 
wide at the north end in Swanzey, and nearly three 
miles wide at the south end in Bristol, and narrowing 
to less than one mile in Warren, at a point where the 



74 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

railroad track crosses the main street at the southern 
entrance of the compact part of the town. About 
one-half of the neck projects into the Bay — bounded 
on the east by Mount Hope Bay, and on the west by 
Narragansett Bay. The remaining part of the neck 
is formed by the Kickemuit river on the east, and 
Warren, or Palmer's river, on the west. About one 
mile of the northern end of the neck is in Swanzey ; 
the next three miles, including the "narrow of the 
neck," are in Warren ; the remaining five miles are 
in Bristol. Kickemuit is in Warren, east of the vil- 
lage. Near Kickemuit Spring, before the advent of 
the English, there was, probably, a large Indian vil- 
laofe. 

There was an English settlement within Mount 
Hope Neck, in the northern part, appertaining to 
Swanzey. It contained eighteen houses, all of which 
were destroyed in the early part of Philip's war. 
Warren, it will be recollected, was set off from Swan- 
zey when the boundary line between Khode Island 
and Massachusetts was adjusted in 1746-47. 

The first troops that arrived at Swanzey at the 
beginning of the war, Avere a Bridgewater Company. 
The express sent on the 20th June to Plymouth, to 
notify the Governor of the threatened danger, on its 
return the next day, left a requisition at Bridgewa- 
ter, for twenty well armed men to repair forthwith 
for the defence of Bourn's garrison at Mettapoiset, 
which contained seventy persons, sixteen only of 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 75 

whotn were men, the remainder being women and 
children. This garrison, it will be remembered, was 
within six miles of Mount Hope proper, and was 
probably considered to be in most imminent peril. 
Seventeen of the Bridgewater troops immediately 
started on horseback, "and were the first that were 
upon their march in all the country." Baylies, in his 
"Memoirs of Plymouth Colony," says the Bridge- 
water Company reached Swanzey (Mettapoiset) on 
the 21st June, and were ordered there by Captain 
(Major) Bradford. On their way, they were met by 
a number of people of Swanzey, who had abandoned 
their homes, and were flying from the enemy, " wring- 
in2: their hands, and bewailins: their losses." On the 
next day (22nd), as a part of these troops were re- 
turning to the garrison from another part of the town, 
where they had been to escort Mr. Brown, (a son of 
the Assistant), their pilot of the previous day, home, 
they fell in with a party of thirty Indians. As their 
orders were positively to act only on the defensive, 
they quietly passed them, and reached the garrison 
without molestation. Before reaching the garrison, 
however, they met a part}' of the English with carts, 
going to a barn, about one-fourth of a mile distant, 
for corn. The soldiers informed the drivers that the 
Indians were out, and advised them not to proceed. 
But, heedless of the advice, they went on, and were 
surprised and attacked at the barn, and six of their 
number killed or mortally wounded. The troops 



76 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

hearing the attack, mounted their horses, and rode 
towards the barn, hut before they could reach there, 
the affair was over, and the enemy had fled. One 
Jones escaped with a mortal wound, and barely 
reached his friends to die in their arms. This tragi- 
cal affair, in which the first English blood was shed, 
occurred on Tuesday, June 22nd. 

"The gathering storm," says Baylies, "had now 
burst upon the devoted town of Swanzey. The first 
blood was shed at Mettapoiset." The troops re- 
mained at Bourn's garrison until they were rein- 
forced, and then the house was abandoned, and its 
inmates transported in safety to Rhode Island. 

On Thursday, June 24th, the day appointed for 
the fast, as the Swanzey people were returning from 
church, "where they were met in the way of humil- 
iation that day," they were tired upon by the Indians, 
and one man was killed, and another wounded. Two 
men going for a surgeon to attend the wounded man, 
were killed in the way. Six men were killed in 
another part of the town ; and in a short time, so 
closely were the colonists beset, that the Indians 
would "shoot at all the passengers, and killed many 
that ventured abroad." Some writers have supposed 
that the troops could not have been in Swanzey on the 
24th, because of these occurrences; but Captain 
Church states that the Plymouth forces were there 
on the 24th, and a letter of Nathaniel Thomas, in 
"Morton's Memorial," page 429, dated June 25th, 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 77 

speaks of the tragical affairs of the previous day, and 
adds : — " The forces here are dispersed to several 
places of the town, and some toRehoboth, which this 
da}^ we intend to draw into a smaller compass." 
Swanzey was a large town, being not less than 
twelve miles in length, and the Plymouth forces were 
probably quartered in detached companies, in differ- 
ent parts of the town. They had reason to believe 
that the Indians were in too large force at Mount 
Hope, for them to venture down the Neck to attack 
them, until reinforced b}^ the Boston troops. Hub- 
bard says, referring to these early attacks of the In- 
dians, " all which outrages were committed so sud- 
denly, that the English had no time to make any 
resistance." 

On the 26th of June, a company of foot, under 
Captain Henchman, and a troop of horse, commanded 
by Captain Prentice, marched from Boston towards 
Mount Hope. During their march, they observed 
an eclipse of the moon, and some of the soldiers im- 
agined that they discovered a black spot on the face, 
resembling the scalp of an Indian ; while others 
fancied that they saw the form of an Indian bow. 
"But (says Hubbard) after the moon had waded 
throngh the dark shadow of the earth, and borrowed 
her light again, by the help thereof, the two compa- 
nies marched on towards Woodcock's house, thirty 
miles from Boston, where they arrived next morn- 
ing." They remained until afternoon, when they 



78 THE WAMrANOAG INDIANS. 

were joined by a company of volunteers, under Cap- 
tain Samuel Mosely, and on the next day, 28th, they 
all arrived at Swanzey, at Mr. Miles' house. "They 
arriving there some little time before night," con- 
tinues Hubbard, "twelve of the troop, unwilling to 
lose time, passed over the bridge for discovery in the 
enemy's territories, when they found the rude wel- 
come of eight or ten Indians firing upon them out of 
the bushes, killing one William Hammond, and 
wounding one Corporal Belcher, his horse being shot 
down under him ; the rest of the said troops having 
discharged upon those Indians that run away after 
their first shot, carried off their two dead and 
wounded companions, and so retired to their main 
guard that night, pitching in a barricado about Mr. 
Miles' house." Captain Benjamin Church was one 
of this company, and displayed that coolness and 
daring: that afterwards so distini^uished him in the 
war, and made him its great hero. 

On the next day, Tuesday, 29th June, several In- 
dians showing themselves near the garrison, the troop 
of horse, and Mosely's volunteers, pursued them a 
mile and a quarter beyond the bridge, killing five or 
six of the Indians, and then returned to headquarters. 
It is said that this chars^e of the Ens^lish force alarmed 
Philip, and determined him to abandon Mount Hope 
Neck. But to me it seems more probable that the 
squad of Indians near the bridge were sent there to 
give Philip notice of the arrival of the English forces, 



THE WAMPANOAO INDIANS. 79 

to enable him to make his arrangements to abandon 
Mount Hope Neck. For, had he remained, he would 
have been caught in a cul de sac, and compelled to 
fight a decisive battle with the colonists, who he knew 
were much better armed and drilled than his forces. 
Pitched battles might do for the English, but they 
w^ere not the Indian mode of warfare. That ni^ht 
Philip and his forces abandoned Mount Hope Neck, 
and in their canoes passed over Taunton river to Po- 
casset. 

On Wednesday, June 30th, the whole English 
force crossed the bridge and marched down the neck 
towards Mount Hope. Near what are now known 
as King's Rocks, a mile and a half from the bridge, 
they came to some houses newly burned ; and a 
Bible newly torn, and the leaves scattered about, 
"by the enemy in hatred of our religion therein re- 
vealed," says Hubbard. Two or three miles further, 
at the '' narrow of the neck," in Kickemuit, they saw 
the heads of eight Englishmen that were killed near 
the head of Mettapoiset Neck, stuck up on poles, 
near the highway. Fessenden says this was near 
the pound on Kickemuit river. The pound, he adds, 
did not then exist, but was first built in 1685. 
These were taken down and buried. Marching on 
two miles further, they came to the " narrows " (of 
the river) "where they found divers wigwams of 
the enemy, amongst which were many things scat- 
tered up and down, arguing the hasty flight of the 



80 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

owners." Half a mile further, passing tbrongh 
stately fields of corn the while, which they trod 
down and destroyed (one writer says there were a 
thousand acres of corn growing), they came to 
Philip's own wigwam, at Mount Hope. Two miles 
further the}^ came to the seaside (Bristol Ferry), 
and Captain Cudworth, with some of the Plymouth 
forces, passed over to Rhode Island. 

Major Savage and his command bivouacked all 
through a rainy night, in the open field, and the 
next morning, July 1st, returned to their head- 
quarters at Miles' garrison, seeing many stray dogs 
on the Neck without masters. On the next day 
(Tuesday, July 2d), a portion of the troops scoured 
the country north of Miles' bridge, and killed four 
or five Indians. One of the Indians killed in this . 
raid was said to be a brother of Philip, though 
Hubbard speaks of him as "a chief counsellor of 
Philip." If his brother, it must have been Sun- 
conewhew. All that is known of him is, that his 
name appears, signed to a deed of Philip, of lands 
on both sides of Palmer's river, in 1668. "The 
mark of Sunconewhew, Philip's brother," appears 
on this deed. Another of the killed, says Hubbard, 
was ''Thebe, a Sachem of Mount Hope." This was 
undoubtedly Peebee, whose name is also attached to 
the same deed as "counsellor." Peebee resided in 
Barrington, opposite Warren, on what is known as 
Peebce's neck — usually spelled on modern maps, 



THE WAMPANOAO INDIANS. 81 

"Phebe." This deed may be found entire in Bliss' 
"History of Rehoboth," pp. ()4, 65. 

On Sunday, July 4, Captain Cudvvorth returned 
from Rhode Island to the garrison, leaving forty 
men under command of Captain Church, to l)uild a 
fort at the "Narrows," much to the disgust of 
Church, who "told them that Philip was doubtless 
gone over to Pocasset side to engage those Indians in 
a rebellion with him, which they soon found to be 
true." Church continues : — " A strand council was 
held, and a resolve passed, to build a fort there, to 
maintain the first ground they had gained, by the In- 
dians leaving it to them. And to speak the truth, it 
must be said, that as they gained not that field by the 
sword, nor their bow, so it was rather their fear than 
their courage, that obliged them to set up the marks 
of their conquest." He looked upon the fort and 
talked of it, with contempt, and urged hard the pur- 
suing the enemy on Pocasset side.* 

The site of this fort, at the "Narrows" (Bristol 
side), is still pointed out, though the hill on which it 
was located has been so badly washed by the action 
of the water at its base, as to remove nearly every 
vestige of the fort. I have within two years picked 
up some pieces of stone, half way down the bank, dis- 
colored by heat and smoke, which were probably 
used in the fire-place. 

Church urged the pursuit of the enemy on the Po- 

* Church's Philip's War, p. 35. 



82 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

casset side, with the greater earnestness, becanse of 
a promise he had made to Awashonks, the Squaw 
Sachem of the Sogkonnate Indians, a few days before 
hostilities commenced, that he would see her again 
within a few days ; and he believed, if he could keep 
his promise, he would be able to secure her and her 
tribe as allies of the English ; or at least to prevent 
them trom taking an active part with Philip. 

After some delay, orders came for Captain Fuller, 
with six tiles, to cross the Bay, and "try if he could 
get speech with any of the Pocasset or Sogkonnate 
Indians, and that Mr. Church should go his second." 
They drew out the number assigned them, 36 in all, 
and marched the same night (6th July) to Bristol 
Ferry, and were transported over to Rhode Island ; 
and the next night passed over to Pocasset, in Rhode 
Island boats. On the morning of the 8th, Church, 
with nineteen men, marched down the neck into 
'•Punkatee's Neck," the southern part of Tiverton, 
where he and his little party were attacked by a large 
body of Indians, in " Almy's Peas-field." Notwith- 
standing the great disparity in numbers. Church suc- 
ceeded in withdrawing his little company to the sea- 
shore, though hotly pressed by the Indians, where 
they were discovered by Captain Golding, of Rhode 
Island, who came to their rescue with his sloop, and 
transported them, without loss, back to the Ishuid. 

Captain Fuller and his squad of seventeen men, 
also encountered a large body of the enemy, but for- 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 83 

tiinately was in the vicinity of the water, and near an 
old house, in which he and his men sheltered them- 
selves, until a vessel discovered and conveyed them 
oflf, with no other loss than havins: two men wounded. 

The Massachusetts forces, distrusting the Narra- 
gansetts, marched into their conntry, and by force of 
arms, compelled such of their Sachems as they could 
reach, to unite in a treaty with them against the 
Wampanoags, and stipulating that all of that tribe 
that should be found among them, should be deliv- 
ered up. This treaty was of no account, and was 
broken as soon as the Massachusetts forces withdrew 
from their country. The treaty was signed at Peta- 
quamscot, July 15, 1675, and bore the marks of 
Tawageson, Agamaug, and Wampsh, alias Corman, 
who, in the body of the treaty, are represented as 
Counsellors and Attorneys to Canonicus, Ninigret, 
Matataog, old Queen Quaiapen, Quananshit, and 
Ponapham, " the six present Sachims of the whole 
Narragansett country." It took four days to conclude 
this treaty, and which could only have been regarded, 
even by the representatives of Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, as the merest sham. 

On Monday, July 18th, the Massachusetts and 
Plymouth forces combined, reached the swamp in 
Pocasset where Philip and his forces were encamped. 
As the colonists entered the sWamp, they were fired 
upon, and six of their number killed, and seven 
wounded. After the first shot, the Indians retired 



^4 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

deeper into the swamp, deserting their wigwams, 
about one hundred in number, newly made of green 
])ark, so as they would not burn. The English, tind- 
ine: it difficult and dangerous to pursue the Indians 
further into the swamp, abandoned their plan of direct 
attack, and withdrew with the intention of starving 
them out. To quote from Hubbard: — "It was 
judged that the enemy being by this means brought 
into a pound, it would be no hard matter to deal 
with them, and that it would be needless charge to 
keep so many companies of soldiers together, to wait 
upon such an inconsiderable enemy, now almost as 
good as taken ; whereupon, most of the companies 
belonging to the Massachusetts were drawn ofl'; only 
Captain Henchman, with an hundred foot, being left 
there, together with Plymouth forces, to attend the 
enemy's motion, being judged sufficient for that end." 
To prevent Philip's escape, the English forces be- 
gan to build a fort. Church had no better opinion 
of this movement, than of the erection of a fort at 
the "Narrows" in Mount Flope Neck. He says; — 
"The army now lay still to cover the people from 
nobody, while they were building a fort for nothing." 
Philip at once suspected their design, and took prompt 
steps to efiect his escape. "The swamp where they 
were lodged," I again quote from Hubbard, "being not 
far from an arm of the sea, coming up to Taunton, 
they, taking the advantage of a low tide, either 
waded over one night in the end of July, or else 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 85 

wafted themselves over upon small rafts of timber 
very early before break of day, by which means the 
greatest part of the company escaped away into the 
woods, leading into the Nipmuck country, altogether 
unknown to the English forces that lay encamped on 
the other side of the swamp. About an hundred or 
more of the women and children, which were like to 
be rather burthensome than serviceable, were left be- 
hind, who soon after resigned up themselves to the 
mercy of the English." 

It was said that by arrangement, the Wampanoags 
sent their wives and children over the Bay to the 
Narragansetts, for protection, before hostilities com- 
menced. But the above incident clearly indicates 
that it was not so. The " arm of the sea" where 
Philip crossed, is supposed to have been Taunton 
river, near the "Dighton Writing Rock." 

"Philip, in crossing the great plain of Seekonk," 
says Bliss, "was discovered by the people of Reho- 
both, who, headed by the Rev. Noah Newman, their 
minister, and accompanied by a small party of Mohe- 
gans, gave him a close and brisk pursuit, killing 
twelve of his men, without sustaining any loss on 
their part." 

Hubbard says : — "The Mohegans, with the men of 
Rehoboth, and some of Providence, came upon their 
rear over night, slew about thirty of them, took much 
plunder from them, without any considerable loss to 
the English." This force consisted of 74 English, 34 



86 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

of whom were from Providence, and 54 friendly In- 
dians. 

Captain Henchman, who, it will be remembered, 
was stationed at Pocasset, hearing of Philip's flight, 
as soon as he could get over the river with six files of 
men (6S in number), "rowing hard all or most part 
of the day to get to Providence, followed after the 
enemy." At Providence he was joined by the Mohe- 
gans, and they pursued Philip to JSfipsacket (in Rur- 
rillville), when they gave over the chase. Adds 
Hubbard : — "By this means Philip escaped away to 
the westward, kindling the flame of war in all the 
w^estern plantations of the Massachusetts Colony, 
wherever he came." In the pursuit of Philip from 
Providence, Captain Henchman was supplied with 
provisions by Captain Andrew Edmunds, of Provi- 
dence, and Lieutenant Brown, " w^io brought pro- 
visions after him to the Nipmuck Forts." 

There was great complaint that Philip was per- 
mitted to escape from Pocasset; and also, that he 
was not more vigorously pursued. Hubbard re- 
marks : — "But what the reason was wh}^ Philip was 
followed no further, it is better to suspend, than too 
critically inquire. This is now the third time when 
a good opportunity for suppressing the rebellion of 
the Indians, was put into the hands of the English ; 
but time and chance happeneth to all men, so that 
the most likely means are often frustrated of their 
desired end." 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 87 

We must now pass rapidly over events, tracing 
Philip in his movements as far as we are able to cio so. 

On the 5th of August, in a swamp, not far from 
Quabaog, (Brookfield,) Philip, with forty of his men, 
forms a junction with the Nipmucks. On the same 
day, a severe fight takes place at Sugar Loaf Hill, in 
which 9 or 10 English, and 26 Indians are slain. 
August 2 2d, Lancaster is attacked, and eight of its 
inhabitants are killed. Part of the town of Deer- 
field is burned, and one man killed, on the 1st ot 
September. On the same day the Indians attack the 
town of Hadley, but are repulsed. It was in this 
action that General Goffe, one of the regicide Judges, 
is said to have left his hiding place in Rev. John 
Russell's house, and rallied the inhabitants at a criti- 
cal moment of the fight, and drove them ofi". His 
sudden presence in the fight, and his equally mysteri- 
ous disappearance after the fight was over, was a 
great mystery to the people of Hadley. They re- 
garded the circumstance as a direct interposition of 
Divine Providence in their behalf. God had sent 
one of his angels to succor them. It is -most remark- 
able that Generals Whaley and Gofie could remain 
secreted in the house of Rev. Mr. Russell so many 
years, without discovery. And Mr. Russell nuist 
have been a sturdy man to harbor them, at the risk 
of the swift and sure vengeance of Charles II, his 
king, if discovered. Mr. Russell's son Jonathan 
was pastor of the church at Barnstable, and his son 



88 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 



Joseph came to Bristol a young man, and resided 
there the remainder of his life. He was many years 
Town Clerk and Treasurer of Bristol. He also 
served ten years as one of the Assistant Justices of 
the Supreme Court of this Colony, and three terms 
as Chief Justice. He died July 31st, 1780, in the 
78th year of his age, leaving three children, two 
sons and a daughter. His son Jonathan was the first 
Collector of Customs of the Port of Bristol, ap- 
pointed by Jefferson. Neither Jonathan or his sister 
Nancy ever married. Nathaniel, the other son, mar- 
ried a daughter of the late Bishop DeHone, and 
their descendants are connected with Bristol famdies. 
Descendants, also, of Rev. Jonathan Russell's oldest 
daughter Rebecca, are now living in Bristol. 

On September 2d, 9 or 10 English are kdled at 
Northfield, and the next day. Captain Beers and 20 
men are surprised near the same place, and all ot 
them are slain; and soon after the town is entirely 
destroyed. On the 18th of September, Captain 
Lothrop, with a company of about 90 men are cut 
off almost to a man at Deerfield. The next day, 
the Indians are repulsed from Deerfield, but they 
soon after return, and destroy the town, together 
with Hatfield* and a portion of Hadley. On the 

*The attack upon Hatfield, ended, after killing and burning, "in the carry- 
ing away, northward, of seventeen captives, mostly wives, mothers, and young 

children." ****** ,,+ 1,0,1 

"Two brave and patient men, whose wives and children had been snatciiea 
from them into the horrors of this exile-Benjamin Wait and Stephen Jennings 
-after suffering their solitude for a month, in the vain hope ot someettecm 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 81) 

19 th of October, Had ley is again attacked by 700 or 
800 Indians ; but they are repulsed with the loss of 
many of their number. Thirty-two houses in Sprino-- 
field are burnt about this time. Philip is the o-reat 
leader in all these actions. 

On the 18th of October, Canonchet and other 
Chief men of the Narragansetts, visit Boston, and 
make a treaty with the English. As early as the 
middle of November, the United Colonies, con- 
vinced that the Narragansetts were affording shelter 
to Philip and his Nipmuck allies contrary to their 
treaty stipulations, determined to make war upon 
them. An army having been gathered at Dedham, 
on the 9th of December, they take up their line of 
march for Narragansett. Arriving at Providence, a 
portion of the army proceed to Wickford b}^ water, 
while the remainder march down through the country 
on the west side of the bay, to the same rendezvous, 
which was Major Richard Smith's garrison at Sowgan, 

pursuit or negotiation, arose and went forth together with their grief. Their 
first point was Alban}^ where the unfeeling autliorities not only discouraged 
them, but sent them by force to New York, to Gov. Andros. The dear faces 
were farther off than ever ! Every day was a fresh anguish. A month more, 
and they were back at Albany, with permission to proceed. But new hindrances 
met them. Winter was setting in. .At last they hired a Mohawk to guide 
them to Lake George, where he left them, with a canoe and a rough sketch of 
tlie route. They were the first New Englanders that passed that way to Caia- 
ada. Over the two Lakes, over the hills, and the streams, and through the ice 
and frost, paddling their canoes, or bearing them on their backs, sleeping be- 
tween the snow and the stars, with only God's hand to lead them, and the faith 
in Him to uphold them, and the love of the dear ones to urge tliem on,— they 
made their difficult way, till, at last, in January, at Sorell, they overtook and 
greeted the lost. Who of us would not give some tears to see that meeting? 
The captives were all redeemed, save three that had perished. Protected by a 



90 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

(Wickford). General Winslow, (Governor of Ply- 
mouth Colony,) was commander-in-chief of the ex- 
pedition. He hoped in the night to surprise and 
capture Pumham, a noted chief of the Narragansetts, 
and his town at Shawomut, (Warwick). But Pum- 
ham was made aware of their approach and escaped. 
Seven of the Indians were killed, and 8 taken pris- 
oners, and 150 wigwams burned. 

On the 16th of December, the Indians attacked 
and burned Jireh Bull's garrison at Petaquamscot, 
(Tower Hill, South Kingstown,) and killed 15 
persons, only two escaping. This was a heavy loss 
to the army, as they expected to find good quarters 
here on their march to attack the Indians in their 
swampy retreat. 

On Saturday, the 18th of December, the entire 
army, numbering about 1,000 men, (the Connecticut 
forces having joined the army at Wickford the same 
day,) commenced their march to attack the Narra- 

French guard, they traveled back to Albany, in May. One day a messenger 
appeared at Hatfield, and the news spread from, honse to house, awakening 
anxious inquiries, heart-throbs of new fear, and weepings of joy, that the res- 
cued prisoners were safe! Two touching letters were brought, which were 
sent forward to Boston, were read publicly in the churches of the Colony, 
where thanksgivings were offered up, and with apostolic charity collections 
were taken for the ransom, for the heroes, and for their families. Benjamin 
Wait wrote from Albany to his Hatfield neighbors :— ' Any that have love to 
our condition, let it move them to come and help us. We must come very 
softly, because of our wives and children. I pray you hasten — stay not for the 
Sabbath, nor shoeing of horses— stay not night nor day.' The Hatfield people 
met tlie party at Kinderhook, and led them in with praises to God who ' loos- 
eth tiie prisoners, and bringeth them by a way they have not known.' "—^ic- 
tract from the Address of Prof. Hantington, at the Two Hundredth Anniver- 
sary of the settlement of Hadley, Mass., June 8th, 1859. 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 91 

gansetts. That night the army bivouacked on the 
now desolate Tower Hill, without shelter for officers 
or men. The night was bitter cold, and there was 
a heavy fall of snow. All suffered severely, and 
some of the men were so badly frozen in their hands 
and feet as to be disabled. The snow was from two 
to three feet deep when the army renewed their 
forward movement on Sunday morning. Hubbard 
says : — " Through all these difficulties they marched 
from the break of the next day, December 19th, till 
one of the clock in the afternoon, without either fire 
to warm them, or respite to take any food, save Avhat 
they could chew in their march." They reached the 
swamp in which the Indians had built their winter 
home and fort, about one o'clock p. m. The severe 
cold of the previous night had frozen the swamp, 
which greatly facilitated its passage by the English. 
But for this, the Indian retreat would have been al- 
most inaccessible. Aided by an Indian guide, they 
soon reached the fort, and commenced the attack. 
Hubbard says : — "There was but one entrance into 
the fort, though the enemy found many ways to come 
out. It was raised upon a kind of island of five or 
six acres of rising ground in the midst of the swamp ; 
the sides of it were made of palisadoes set upright, 
the which was compassed about Avith an hedge of 
almost a rod thickness, through which there was no 
passing. The place Avhere the Indians used ordina- 
rily to enter themselves, was over a long tree upon 



<)2 THK WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

a place of water, where l)ut one man could enter at 
a time, and whicli was so w^aylaid, that they would 
have been cut off that had ventured there. But at 
one corner there was a gap made up only with a 
long tree, about four or five foot from the ground, 
over which men might easily pass." The work 
around the fort was not quite finished, for it had evi- 
dently been prepared with great labor, and this gap 
was the w^eak point. Here an entrance to the fort 
was finally effected, after a desperate struggle, the 
Indians defending it with deadly aim from a block- 
house which completely commanded it. The first to 
enter the fort was John Ra3^mond, of Middleborough, 
a soldier. Many of the English officers and men 
were killed either in passing over the tree or at the 
entrance of the fort. Those that first entered were 
soon forced to fall back, and prostrate themselves 
upon the ground to avoid the fury of the enemy's 
shot, until it " was pretty well spent." Captain 
Johnson was shot dead upon the tree, and Captain 
Davenport at the very entrance, the latter receiving 
three fatal wounds at the same instant, so deadly was 
the aim of the Indians. " But at the last," says 
Hubbard, "two companies being brought up besides 
the four that first marched up, they animated one 
another to fnake another assault, one of the command- 
ers crying out, ' tJieij run, they run;' which did so 
encourage the soldiers that they presently entered 
amain. After a considerable number were well en- 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 93 

tered, they presently beat the enemy out of a flanker 
on the left hand, which did a little shelter our men 
from the enemy's shot till more company came up, 
and^so by degrees made up higher, first into the mid- 
dle, and then into the upper end of the fort, till at 
last they made the enemy all retire from their 
sconces, and fortified places, leaving multitudes of 
their dead bodies upon the place." A portion of the 
Connecticut forces cut a passage into the further side 
of the fort, and the Indians finding themselves at- 
tacked both in front and rear, finally abandoned the 
fort, after a three hours' struggle, and concealed 
themselves in a cedar swamp near by. The English 
having obtained possession, set fire to the wigwams, 
some five hundred or six hundred in number, and 
the whole fort was soon wrapped in flames, in which, 
it is said many Indian women and children perished. 
General Winslow oflfered Church a command in 
the expedition, which he declined, but accepted a 
position on his staflT. He took an active part in the 
fight, and was badly wounded. He was opposed to 
burning the fort, and urged that many of the wounded 
might be saved, if it was held. His advice was vio- 
lently opposed by "a certain Doctor, Avho, looking 
upon Mr. Church, and seeing the blood flow apace 
from his wounds, told him that if he gave such advice, 
he should bleed to death like a dog, before they 
would endeavor to stanch his blood."* 

* Church's Philip's War. 



94 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Drake adds in a note : — "The General (Winslow) 
had already adopted Church's advice, and was about 
to ride into the fort himself, but as he was entering 
the swamp, one of his captains seized his horse, pay- 
ing he should not expose himself, and if he did not 
desist, he would shoot his horse under him. Thus it 
seems the General was commander-in-chief only in 
name. Doubtless the jealousy of this Captain and 
some others, had been excited, owing to the confi- 
dence the General had placed in Mr. Church's judg- 
ment." 

Was the captain referred to above, the son of ex- 
Gov. William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony? He 
was in the expedition, and commanded one of the 
Plymouth companies. A letter of his, published in 
the Journal of this city a few weeks since (the orig- 
inal of which is in the hands of his descendant. Gov. 
Van Zandt, of Newport), and made public for the 
first time, contains several sentences that indicate 
jealousy of Church. The letter is dated "Taunton, 
24 July, 1G76." Captain (or Major) Bradford was 
then in command of the English forces, and there was 
great comphiint that these forces were inactive, while 
Church, at the head of a volunteer company, was 
constantly engaging the enemy, and bringing in large 
numbers of prisoners. Read in the light of these 
occurrences, the whole letter is very intelligible. I 
quote two sentences : — " We are going forth this 
day, intending Philip's headquarters. I shall not put 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 05 

myself out of breath to get before Ben Church." 
Captain Churcli's wife (Alice Southworth) was re- 
lated to Captain BradforcVs mother, who was the 
widow Alice Southworth when Gov. Bradford sent 
for her to Leyden, to come over to this country, and 
married her. She came over in the ^' Ann," in 1623. 
Mrs. Southworth had two sons by her first husband, 
and Church's wife was a daughter of her son Con- 
stant. This is a digression, and we will return to the 
fort. 

Daylight was now almost gone, but as the army 
had no shelter, or provisions, save what they had 
carried in their march, they were necessitated to re- 
turn to their quarters at Major Smith's garrison, 
"full fifteen or sixteen miles oflf, some say more, 
whither with their dead and wounded men, they 
were to march; a difficulty scarce to be believed, as 
not to be paralleled almost in any former age," says 
Hubbard. 

Church says : — " The wigwams were musket proof, 
being all lined with baskets and tubs of grain, and 
other provisions, suflicient to supply the whole army 
until the spring of the year." Many of the wounded 
died from exposure in the terrible return march, 
"which might otherwise have been preserved," says 
Hubbard, "if they had not been forced to march so 
many miles in a cold and snowy night, before they 
could be dressed." When we recall what the arni}^ 
had passed through in the past twenty-four hours — 



9() THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

their exposure the previous night without shelter, 
the long morning miirch through deep and damp 
snow, and the prolonged and deadly struggle at the 
fort — we may well believe that their endurance had 
scarcely a parallel " in any former age." 

The Eusflish sustained a loss of more than two 
hundred in killed and wounded. The loss of officers 
was very heavy. Six commanders of companies 
were slain in the assault, viz. : — Captains Davenport, 
Gardner and eJohnson, of the Massachusetts forces, 
and Captains Gallop, Siely and Marshall, of Con- 
necticut. The fall of Captain Gardner is thus touch- 
ingly related by Church : — " Seeing Captain Gardner, 
of Salem, amidst the wigwams in the east end of the 
fort, I made towards him; but on a sudden, while 
we were looking each other in the face. Captain 
Gardner settled down ; I stepped to him, and seeing 
the blood run down his cheek, lifted up his cap, 
called him by his name. He looked up in my face, 
but spake not a word, being mortally shot through 
the head." 

The loss of the Indians, including women and 
children who perished in the flames, was supposed to 
be quite three times that of the English. After the 
army returned to VVickford, nearly one hundred and 
fifty of the wounded, after their wounds were dressed, 
were sent over to Khode Island, where they Avere 
kindly received by the Governor and others, and 
cared for. "Only some churlish Quakers were not 



THE WAMPANOAO INDIANS. 97 

free to entertain them, nntil compelled by the 
Governor."* 

It is not positively known that Philip was in the 
fort, though there is a tradition that he was there, 
and left after the fort was fired. It is supposed that 
the Wampanoags very generally returned from the 
western frontier along the Connecticut, and took up 
their winter quarters with the Narragansetts ; but 
whether Philip did, is uncertain. Some suppose 
that he visited the Mohawks and Canada Indians for 
assistance. We next hear of him on the 10th of 
February, when he surprised Lancaster, killing lifty 
people, and carrying away a number of captives. 
Among the latter was Mrs. Rowlandson, the wife of 
the minister of Lancaster. Accordins^ to Lidian 
custom, she was a slave to her captor, who sold her 
to the husband of VVeetamoe, Queen of the Pocassets, 
and she became the servant of that "severe and 
proud dame." When first captured, she suffered 
much from hunger and ill-usage, but after Philip 
joined the party into whose hands she had fallen, she 
was more humanely treated. He called upon her, 
and expressed regret at her capture, and bargained 
with her to make some articles of clothinof for his 
little boy. When the work was completed, he paid 
her for it; and this example of Philip was followed 
by others, until Mrs. Rowlandson soon had means to 
purchase food, and make her condition more tolera- 

* Old Indian Chron,, pp. 74, 75. 



1)8 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

ble. As soon as negotiations were opened for her 
release, Philip informed her of the fact, and ex- 
pressed the hope that thej might be successful. The 
next mornin<r after the ransom for her release had 
been accepted, Philip met her with a smile, and said : 
''I have some pleasant words for you this morning — 
would you like to hear them? You are to go home 
to-morrow." The rock where the negotiations were 
said to be held, is in the town of Princeton, Mass., 
near Wachuset Mountain. It is called "Redemption 
Rock."* 

On the 21st of February, about half of Medfield 
was burned, and twenty of its inhabitants killed. 

*Mrs. Eowlandson, in her narrative, state? that the twenty pounds, the price 
of her redemption, were raised by some Boston gentlewomen, and Mr. Usher — 
probably Hezekiah. John Usher was a bookseller in Boston at that time. 
Eev. Thomas Shepard, of Charlestown, received Mr. liowlandson and his wife, 
after her return from captivity, into their house, where they remained eleven 
weeks. And Mrs. K. adds : — " A father and mother they were unto us." 

John ami Hezekidh Usher and Thomas Shepard are household names in Bris- 
tol. The former (they may have been father and son) were probably the an- 
cestors of Rev. John Usher, who came to Bristol in 1722, and for more than 
fifty years was pastor of St. Michael's Episcopal Church. Numerous descend- 
ants are living in JJristol at the present time. Tlie latter was the ancestor of 
tlie late Rev. Dr. 'I'homas Shepard, of blessed memory, who for more than 
forty years was pastor of the Congregational Church in Bristol. 

A daugliter of Mrs. Rowlandson, who was captured by the Indians with the 
mother, soon after Mrs. R.'s release, escaped and came into Providence with 
an Indian scjuaw. This glad news reached the parents at Charlestown. Mrs. 
Rowlandson says ;— " We heard that the Governor of Rhode Island had sent 
over for our daughter, to take care of her, being now within his jurisdiction; 
which should not pass without our acknowledgments. But she being nearer 
Rehoboth than Rhode UVawI— [the Island], Mv. Newman [Rev. Noah New- 
man] went over [to Providence] and took care of her, and brought her to his 
own house." 

Walter ('larke was Governor of Rhode Island. He was elected and engaged 
on the :kl day of May, 1C70. It was some ten days after his inauguration that 
the daughter of Mrs. Rowlandson i-eached Providence. 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 99 

February 25th, eight buildings were burned at Wey- 
mouth. On March 12th, a company of Indians 
under Tatoson, suprised Clark's -arrison at Eel 
l^iver, in Plymouth, and killed 12 persons. On the 
14th of March, the forces of the United Colonies 
Jibandoned Smith's garrison house at Wickford, the 
Connecticut forces hiring a boat to take them to 
Pawcatuck, fearing to march through the Narrao-an- 
sett country ; and those of Massachusetts and Ply- 
mouth went to Seacunicke. This post had been 
held all through the winter after the swamp fight, 
and much surprise was expressed at its abandonment.' 
The "Old Indian Chronicle" says of it:—" The 
Council at Boston, (to the great surprise of many 
people,) refusing to maintain the Narragansett Gar- 
rison raised by the United Colonies, lodged as afore- 
said m Mr. Smith's house, they having eat and 
destroyed what they could, quitted the said house." 
The next day after their departure the Indians burned 
the garrison house, ("one of the most delio-htful 
seats m New England,") says the Chronicle" and 
another house of Captain Smith, together with all 
the houses at Narragansett. March 1 6th, they burned 
Warwick, leaving only one building standing, which 
being of stone would not burn. These Indians were 
undoubtedly Narragansetts, recently "come down 
from the country upon the Connecticut river," where 
they had wintered after the Narragansett Swamp 
J^ight. They had suffered much from huno-er in 



100 THE WAjVIPANOAG INDIANS. 

consequence of the destruction of their winter sup- 
plies in the fort, and were thirsting for plunder and 
revenire. 

The ravages of the Indians, who dispersed them- 
selves in small parties on the opening of spring, 
caused (iveixt alarm both in Rhode Island and Massa- 
chusetts. Captain Michael Pierce, of Scituate, with 
a force of (j3 Englishmen, and 20 friendly Indians 
from Cape Cod, was sent out to pursue the Indians 
towards Rhode Island. He arrived at Seekonk 
(Rehol)oth) on Saturdays March 25th, and had a 
skirmish with the Indians ; but suffered no loss. Fie 
deemed it prudent to retire to the garrison at See- 
konk, for the night. The next morning, Sunday, 
March 2Gth, ''the first of the year after our Indian 
account," says Hubbard, "Captain Pierce being 
joined by several of Seekonk as guides, again went 
in pursuit of the enemy, and encountered them near 
the river. The Indians were in large force, and a 
terrible battle ensued, one of the bloodiest of the 
war. A very full and apparently accurate account of 
this battle, I find in the "Old Indian Chronicle," and 
copy entire. This "Chronicle," I may here say in 
passing, is a series of letters written by a merchant in 
Boston, during the war, to his "friend in London," 
and describing events as they came to his knowledge. 
They were printed in London in pamphlet form as 
received. The account of the battle is as follows : — 

"Sunday, the 26th of March, was sadly remarka- 



TIIK WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 101 

ble to US for the tidings of a very deplorable disaster 
brought into Boston about five o'clock that afternoon, 
by a post from Dedhani, viz. : That Captain Pierce, 
of Scituate, in Plymouth Colony, having intelligence 
in his garrison at Seaconicke, that a party of the en- 
emy lay near Mr. Blackstone's, went forth' with 63 
English, and 20 of the Cape Indians, (who had all 
along continued faithful, and joined with them,) and 
upon their march, discovered raml)ling in an obscure 
woody place, four or five Indians, who, in getting 
away from us, halted as if they had been lame or 
wounded. But our men had pursued them but a lit- 
tle way into the woods, before they found them to be 
only decoys to draw them into their ambuscade ; for 
on a sudden they discovered 500 Indians, who iu 
very oood order furiously attacked them, beinsr as 
readily received by ours. So that the light began to 
be very tierce and dubious, and our men had made 
the enemy begin to retreat, but so slowly that it 
scarce deserved that name ; when a fresh company 
of about 400 Indians came in, so that the English 
and their few Indian friends were quite surrounded, 
and beset on every side ; yet they made a brave 
resistance for about two hours ; during all which 
time they did great execution upon the enemy, 
whom they kept at a distance, and themselves 
in ordei'. For Captain Pierce cast his ()3 English 
and 20 Indians into a ring, and fought back to 
back, and were double- double distance, all in 



102 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

one rin«', whilst the Indians were as thick as they 
could stand, thirty deep. Overpowered with whose 
numbers, the said Captain and 55 of his English, 
and 10 of their Indian friends were slain upon the 
place; which in such a cause, and upon such disad- 
vantao"es, may certainly be styled The Bed of Hon- 
our. However, they sold their worthy lives at a 
o-allant rate ; it being affirmed by those few that (not 
without wonderful difficulty and many wounds) made 
their escape, that the Indians lost as many fighting 
men (not counting women and children) in this en- 
o-Ro-ement, as were killed at the battle in the swamp 
near Narragansett, mentioned in our last letter, 
which were generally computed to be about three 
hundred." 

Other authorities, and probably more accurately, 
state that 52 English and 11 friendly Indians were 
slain ; while the loss of the enemy is put at 140. 

Bliss says: — "There is a tradition in Seekonk, 
that Captain Pierce sent a written message to Provi- 
dence, before setting out on his march from the gar- 
rison, by a man who attended meeting in that town ; 
and that the messenger not arriving till after the 
commencement of public worship, delayed, either 
through ignorance of the importance of the message, 
or some other unaccountable cause, to deliver the 
letter till the close of the morning service. The 
captain (Captain Andrew Edmunds) to whom the 
letter was directed, is said, on the receipt of it, to 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 103 

have chided the messenger severely, Mud to have de- 
clared it too late to render any assistance, as the fate 
of Captain Pierce and his men must have been de- 
cided before that time." 

"Captain Pierce is said to have fallen earlier than 
many others ; and it is due to the honor of one of 
his friendly Indians, called Amos, that he continued 
to stand by his commander and tight, until affairs 
had become utterly desperate ; and that then he es- 
caped by blackening his face with powder, as he saw 
tlie enemy had done, and so passed through their 
army unobserved. Another friendly Indian, being 
closely pursued by a hostile Indian, sought shelter 
behind a rock. Thus the two were watchinof, in 
awful suspense, to shoot each other. But Captain 
Pierce's Indian, putting his cap on the end of his 
gun, raised it to the view of his enem}', who imme- 
diately tired at the cap and the next moment was 
shot dead by the friendly Indian. Another, in his 
flight, pretended to pursue an Englishman w^ith an 
uplifted tomahawk, holding it in threatening attitude 
above his head, and thus both escaped. Still another, 
being closely pursued, took shelter behind the roots 
of a large tree that had lately been turned out of the 
ground; and the hostile Indian, coming up upon the 
opposite side, was lying in wait to shoot him on his 
deserting his station ; when the friendly Indian, bor- 
ing a hole through his broad shield, unobserved by 
the other, shot him dead. 



104 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Bliss describes the place of the fight as follows : — 
"The place where the battle was fought is still 
pointed out. It is between the villages of Pawtucket 
and Valley Falls, nearer the latter, at a spot, which, 
I have been told, was formerly called ' The many 
Holes.' It commenced on the east side of the river, 
but the severest part of the action was on the west, 
immediately on the bank of the stream. Some have 
placed the site of this battle considerably farther up 
the river, between the bridge called ' Whipple's 
Bridge,' and ' Study Hill,' the former residence of 
Blackstone. But from this battle having been some- 
times styled by the older inhabitants, 'The Battle of 
the Plain,'' from its having been fought on the border 
of the great ' Seekonk Plaine,' the former spot, tra- 
dition being equally strong in its favor, seems to 
possess the highest claim to being the battle ground." 
It is probable that Canonchet commanded the Indians 
in this fight, though historians do not seem to be 
clear in regard to it. 

On March 28th, two days after Pierce's Fight, 
forty houses and thirty barns were burnt in Reho- 
both, by a party of the same Indians. "These 
houses were around the 'Ring of the Common,' now 
called ' Seekonk Common.' Only two houses were 
left standing — the garrison house and another on the 
south end of the Common, which was preserved by 
black sticks having been arranged around it, so as to 
give it, at a distance, the appearance of being 
strongly guarded." 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 105 

On Wednesday, the 29th of March, a party of the 
same Indians burnt thirty houses in Providence. 
Arnold says, fiftj^-four ; which hitter number probably 
included all buildings burned. Judge Staples, in 
his ''Annals of Providence," says : — " It has always 
been supposed that these were generally situated 
near the north part of the town. The location of 
only one of them is known, and that was the house 
of John Smith, the miller, which was on the west 
side of the Moshassuck river, near to where the first 
stone lock of the Blackstone Canal is now located. 
Mr. Smith was, at that time, town clerk, and the 
records of the town were then in his possession. 
They were thrown from his burning house into the 
mill-pond, to preserve them from the flames ; and to 
the present day they bear plenary evidence of the 
two-fold dangers the}' escaped, and the two-fold in- 
jury they suffered." 

Arnold says : — "It was the north part of the town 
that was <?onsumed. Within the memory of ancient 
persons but recently deceased, the cellar walls of 
some of these houses were still standing, on the east 
side of the road just south of Harrington's lane, or 
North street, the northern limit of the city." 

He then adds in a note : — "The venerable John 
Howland, late President of the Rhode Island Histor- 
ical Society, who died November 5th, 1854, aged 
ninety-seven years, has often pointed out this spot to 
the writer, and told him that when he was a boy the 



lOG THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

foundation walls of several of these buildings were 
visible." 

There is a tradition that the "Old Whipple House," 
or a portion of it, at the north end of the city, on 
"Abbot's Lane," was standing at the time of this 
raid of the Indians, and escaped the flames." 

Arnold says : — " That Providence was nearly de- 
serted, leaving it an easy prey to the enemy. Less 
than thirty men remained, as appears by a list pre- 
served on the records, of those 'that stayed and 
went not away.' Two places in the town had been 
fortified, mainly through the efforts of Roger Wil- 
liams, who although seventy-seven years of age, ac- 
cepted the commission of Captain." I have been 
told that one of these fortified houses stood where 
the old Providence Bank building now stands on 
South Main street. 

"A tradition is preserved," I quote from Arnold, 
"that when the enemy approached the town, the ven- 
erable captain, (Roger Williams,) went out alone to 
meet and remonstrate with them. ' Massachusetts,' 
said he, 'can raise thousands of men at this moment, 
and if you kill them, the King of England will sup- 
ply their places as fast as they fall.' ' Well, let them 
come,' was the reply, ' we are ready for them. But 
as for you, brother Williams, you are a good man ; 
you have been kind to us many years ; not a hair of 
your head shall be touched.'" The quotations are 
from Knowles' History. 



THK WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 107 

In Backus' History of jSTew England, i, 424, the 
incident is told as follows : — " When the Indians ap- 
peared on the high lands north of their great Cove, 
Mr. Williams took his staff and walked over towards 
them, hoping likely to pacify them, as he had often 
done ; but when some of their aged men saw him, 
they came out and met him, and told him that though 
those who had long known him would not hurt him, 
3^et their young men were so enraged that it was not 
safe for him to venture among them ; upon which he 
returned to the garrison." 

The ''Old Indian Chronicle" has the following 
version of the matter ; — 

"Mr. Williams, at Providence, knowing several of 
the chief Indians "that came to fire that town, dis- 
coursed with them a considerable time, who pre- 
tended their greatest quarrel was against Plymouth ; 
and as for what they attempted against the other 
colonies, they were constrained to it, by the spoil 
that was done them at Narragansett ; they told him 
that when Captain Pierce engaged them near Mr. 
Blackstone's they were bound for Plymouth. They 
gloried much in their success, promising themselves 
the conquest of the whole country, and rooting out 
of all the English. Mr. Williams reproved their 
confidence ; minded them of their cruelties, and told 
them that the Bay, viz., Boston, could yet spare ten 
thousand men; and if they should destroy all them, 
yet it was not to be doubted, that our King w^ould 
send as many every year from Old England, rather 



108 THE WAINIPANOAG INDIANS. 

than they should share the country. They answered 
proudly, that they should be ready for them, or to 
that effect ; but told Mr. Williams that he was a 
good man, and had been kind to them formerly, and 
therefore they would not hurt him." 

This was undoubtedly the gloomiest period of the 
war. Philip, and his allies, the Narragansetts, were 
roaming almost at will through the colonies of Rhode 
Island and Massachusetts, and committing depreda- 
tions on every hand. The boldness of their attacks 
caused the greatest alarm, and impelled the United 
Colonies to place another large force in the field. 
Captain Church, who- had been with his family for 
some time on Rhode Ishmd, repaired to Plymouth on 
the first Tuesday in June. Gov. Winslow commis- 
sioned him to raise a company of volunteers of about 
two hundred men, English and Indians — the former 
not to exceed sixty in number. Church had no difii- 
culty in obtaining recruits, and was soon in the field, 
hunting the Indians. He was very successful, and 
brought in many prisoners. He acknowledged a two- 
fold advantage he derived from the " great English 
army that was now abroad." "One was, that they 
drove the enemy down to that part of the country, viz., 
to the eastward of Taunton river, by which his busi- 
ness was nearer home. The other was, that when 
he fell on with a push upon a body of the enemy 
(were they never so many), they fled, expecting the 
great army."* 

* Church's Philip's War. 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 109 

While Church was at Plymouth, on Sunday, July 
Both, news came " that a great army of Indians were 
discovered, who it was supposed were designing to 
get over the river towards Taunton or Bridgewater, 
to attack those towns that lay on that side of the 
river." Church got together a company of about 30 
Englishmen and 20 friendly Indians and marched at 
once, reaching Bridgewater Sunday evening. Philip 
and his company, near night, had attempted to cross 
Taunton river, on a large tree which they had felled 
across the stream ; but being ambushed by some 
" brisk Bridgewater lads," they were driven back, 
and Philip's old uncle, Akkompoin, was killed. 

Very early the next morning. Church moved with 
his company, which had been increased by many of 
Bridgewater, in quest of Philip. Coming "very 
still to the top of the great tree which the enemy had 
fallen across the river," Church discovered an Indian 
sitting on the stump of it on the other side of the 
river, and raised his gun to fire upon him. At that 
instant, one of his own Indians called hastily to him 
not to fire, for he believed it was one of their own 
men. Thereupon the Indian upon the stump looked 
about, and Church's Indian, seeing his face, discov- 
ered that it was Philip, and fired upon him; but it 
was too late, for Philip immediately threw himself 
ofl:' the stump, leaped down a bank on the other side 
of the river, and made his escape. It was said that 
he had not long before, cut. ofl* his hair, that he 

10 



110 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 



might not be known. Captain Church and his men 
got across the river as soon as possible, and scattered 
in quest of Philip and his company, *' but the enemy 
scattered and fled in every direction." Among the 
prisoners taken, were Philip's wife and son, — the 
latter about nine years old. Philip and his warriors 
escaped across the river, where Church and his men 
followed them, and early on the morning of the third 
of August, surprised Philip and his camp in Mettapoi- 
set Neck, as they were getting their breakfast. The 
Indians fled into the swamp, pursued by the English, 
and a smart skirmish ensued. When it was over, 
they gathered their prisoners together, and found 
they had killed and taken one hundred and seventy- 
three, (including those taken over night,) while only 
one Englishman was killed. Being out of provisions, 
Captain Church and his company, (now very numer- 
ous, with his prisoners), returned to Bridgewater. 
The next day Church took his prisoners to Plymouth. 
Some of the Indians said to Captain Church : — " Sir, 
you have now made Philip ready to die ; for you 
have made him as poor and miserable as he used to 
make the English ; for you have now killed or taken 
all his relations." That they believed he would soon 
have his head, and that "this bout had almost broken 
his heart." 

It was not so much the loss of friends who had 
been killed or taken prisoners, — nor indeed the great 
sorrow of having his wife and son made prisoners by 



THE WAMPANOAa INDIANS. Ill 

the English — that rent Philip's heart with anguish. 
But the fact that so many of liis own tribe should 
prove traitors to him, and join his enemies in hunt- 
ing him down. Hubbard says: — "It is said that 
this act of these Indians (joining with Church) broke 
Phih'p's heart, as soon as ever he understood it, so as 
he never joyed after." 

On the 6th of August, Weetamoe, wlio, up to this 
time, had followed the fortunes of Philip, in attempt- 
ing to escape over to Pocasset, on a raft, from her 
pursuers, w^as drowned, and her body washed ashore 
at Mettapoiset, Her head being cut off and set upon 
a pole in Taunton, was recognized by some of her 
own tribe, who were prisoners, which, says Hub- 
bard, "set them into a horrid lamentation." And 
this was the first knowledo^e the Eno^lish had that the 
head was that of the " Queen of the Pocassets." It 
is difficult to imagine such a state of feeling among 
civilized people, that the head of an unknown Indian 
woman, stuck up on a pole, should be a gratifying 
spectacle. 

"Philip," continues Hubbard, "like a salvage and 
wild beast, having been hunted by the English forces 
through the woods, above an hundred miles, back- 
ward and forward, at last was driven to his own den, 
upon Mount Hope." Here Church surprised him on 
Saturday morning, August 12th. Philip and his 
followers were encamped " upon a little spot of up- 
land that was in the south end of the miery swamp, 



112 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

just at the foot of the Mount." This spot of land I 
think I have been al)le to identify, without question. 
It is on the farm of Hon. Samuel W. Church, and is 
known by those familiar with the farm, as "Little 
Guinea." At the north end, the upland opens down 
into the swamp. Church arrived at the swamp at a 
very early hour in the morning, and nearly sur- 
rounded the southern portion of it, placing his men 
in ambush — an Englishman and an Indian together, 
behind such shelter of trees, etc., as he could find. 
Captain Golding, of Rhode Island, with a small com- 
pany, had been detached to beat up Philip's head- 
quarters from the south. At the first gun, Philip, 
who was but partially dressed, having on only "his 
small breeches and stockings," threw his petunk and 
powder-horn over his head, and seizing his gun, ran 
down into the swamp and directly upon two of Cap- 
tain Church's ambush. "They let him come fair 
within shot, and the Englishman's gun missing fire, 
he bid the Indian fire away, and he did so to the pur- 
pose ; sent one musket bullet through his heart, and 
another not above two inches from it. He fell upon 
his fiice in the mud and water, with his gun under 
him." 

The Indians soon discovered that they were way- 
laid on the east side of the swamp, and tacked short 
about to the Avest, and finding that part of the swamp 
which was not ambushed, many of them made their 
escape in the English tracks. Old Annawon, Philip's 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 113 

great captain, rallied his forces with the Indian war- 
cry of lootash! lootashl ! hoping thus to cover the 
escape of his Great Chief. But all in vain — the fatal 
bullet had already sped to its mark ! 

Church was promptly informed by the Indian who 
shot Philip, of "his exploit," when Church com- 
manded him to be silent about it, until they had 
driven the swamp clean. In accordance with orders, 
"the whole company met tegether at the place where 
the enemy's night shelter was, and then Captain 
Church gave them the news of Philip's death. Upon 
which, the whole army gave three loud huzzas." 

Orders were given to have Philip's body "pulled 
out of the mire to the upland. So, some of Captain 
Church's Indians took hold of him by his stockings, 
and some by his small breeches (being otherwise 
naked), and drew him through the mud to the up- 
land ; and a doleful., great^ naked, dirty least he 
looked like J' This language of Church, in describing 
the appearance of Philip's body after being dragged 
by the heels through mud, and his own gore, to 
the upland, has been construed to apply to Philip's 
person and character, when alive. It does not seem 
to me that it will bear such construction. However 
deeply he may have incurred the hate of the English, 
there was certainly nothing in his career to indicate 
that he was a coward, or a foe to be despised. 

Captain Church then said, " that forasmuch as he 
had caused many an Englishman's body to be un- 



114 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

buried, and to rot above ground, not one of his bones 
should be buried ; and calling his old Indian execu- 
tioner, bid him behead and quarter him." 

Even Church, who had so often, though almost 
always in vain, urged mercy to the captive Indians, 
must yield to the fell spirit of revenge against Philip. 
His body must not receive interment. In all the 
broad acres of Mount Hope, Avhere he and his ances- 
tors had so long borne sway, no little spot of earth — 
so narrow aud so small — shall be allotted for his 
grave. His poor body — even after the imperial spirit 
that ofave it life had returned to God wdio crave it — 
must be broken and dismembered. And the miser- 
able Indian appointed to the work, must exult in his 
butchery ! Philip's head was cut off, and his body 
quartered. His head was sent to Plymouth as a 
trophy, where it was set upon a pole, and remained 
many years. One of his hands was sent to Boston, 
and the other, which was marked by a well-known 
scar, caused by the splitting of a pistol in it some 
years before, was given to Alderman, the Indian who 
shot him, and who "got many a penny by exhibiting 
it." The four quarters of his body were suspended 
on four trees at Mount Hope, and left to bleach and 
decay, mid sunshine and storm. Twenty-five years 
after, portions of these ghastly remains were said to 
be visible, to shock the passerby. 

Hu])bard says that with Philip fell five of his truest 
followers, of whom one was said to be the son of his 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 115 

chief captain, that had shot the first gun at the En- 
glish the year before. With Philip's death, the war 
virtually ended — this dreadful Indian War, which had 
raged with such fearful violence for more than a year, 
causing wide-spread and universal mourning through- 
out New England. Its consequences are summed up 
as follows : — At least six hundred of the English in- 
habitants, who were "the flower and strength of the 
country, either fell in battle, or were murdered by 
the enemy. Twelve or thirteen towns in Massachu- 
setts, Plymouth and Rhode Island, were utterly de- 
stroyed, and others greatly damaged. About 600 
buildings, chiefly dwelling-houses, were consumed 
with lire ; and more than one hundred thousand 
pounds sterling were expended by the colonies, be- 
sides an immense loss in the destruction of their 
goods and cattle." 

Annawon and his companions, who escaped from 
Mount Hope, were captured a few weeks after, prob- 
ably in September, in Squannaconk Swamp, Reho- 
both, by Captain Church, with a handful of men, 
mostly Indians. The story of the surprise and cap- 
ture is exceedingly interesting, and displayed on the 
part of Church a personal prowess equal to anything 
known in historv. I would like to sfive it, but this, 
and many other incidents of interest, I have been 
compelled to pass over, in order to bring this paper 
within reasonable compass. And I fear it may rather 
be noted for what is omitted than for what is de- 



116 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

scribed, of the thrilling events of the war. \_See 
Appendix (7.] 

One other matter and I close. 

We left Philip's wife and son, prisoners at Ph^- 
mouth. What should be their fate ? This was a per- 
plexing question. As was usual in all important 
matters of doubt, the subject was referred to the 
clergy for solution. After serious deliberation, 
while the minority urged their summary execution, the 
majority decided (one writer says — more humanely 
decided) — that they should be shipped out of the 
country, and sold into slavery. And this sentence 
was carried into effect, by sending them to one of the 
West India Islands. Shall we contrast this cruel sen- 
tence upon the gentle Wootonekanuske and her boy 
of nine summers, with the kind, almost chivalric 
treatment that Mrs. Rowlandson received from 
Philip, when she was a captive to the Indians? Yet 
Philip was the savage. 

A writer of fiction, many years ago, published a 
volume, entitled "Mount Hope," in which Philip and 
Wootonekanuske are prominent characters. After 
the sentence of banishment and slavery is pronounced 
upon the latter and her son, the writer puts them on 
board a vessel in Boston Bay, bound to the West In- 
dies. As the vessel proceeds on her voyage, on a 
lovely autumn afternoon, she skirts along the coast 
of Rhode Island. Wootonekanuske and her boy, 
always inseparable, stand apart on the deck, and gaze 



THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 117 

with longing eyes upon Mount Hope, their loved 
home, now in full view. And the author, with 
poetic license, also opens to their vision, the rocks at 
the eastern base of the hill, Philip's favorite resort, 
now so full of sad memories to her who had so often 
roamed with him over its summit, and reclined at his 
feet, at the base. As the shades of night gather 
around them, Wootonekanuske folds her boy to her 
breast, and whispers that Pometacom beckons them 
to the land of shadows — that the Great Spirit calls 
them to the happy hunting grounds beyond the set- 
ting sun — and silently, like Bulwer's blind girl Nydia, 
mother and son pass over the side of the vessel, and 
disappear beneath the waves. I have no heart to 
break the spell. There let them rest ! 



APPEN^DIX 



[A.— Page 8.] 



ROCK INSCRIPTION ON THE WEST SHORE OF MOUNT HOPE 
BAY, IN BRISTOL, NEAR MOUNT HOPE. 



A 



A 




>^^ ^.\y 




The first or left-hand letter or character, may not be and probably is not entire . 
It is at the edge of the rock, which appears ragged, as though one or more 
pieces had fallen or been broken from it. It will be noticed, that between the 
second and third characters, there is a space. There may have been and prob- 
ably was another letter in here, as there are marks on the rock, indicative of 
its presence, but so much worn by the action of the elements as to preclude its 
being traced. 

While there are grave doubts in the minds of many scholars 
as to whether the rock inscriptions found upon the New England 
coast are traces of the Northmen's visits to these shores, of the 
fact of such visits there can be no question. They are matters 
of record. 

R. B. Anderson, himself a Norwegian, Professor of Northern 
Languages in the University of Wisconsin, in a little work, 



120 THE WA>JPANOAG INDIANS. 

published at Chicago in 1874, entitled, "America Not Discovered 
by Columbus: A Historical Sketch of the Discovery of America 
by the Norsemen in the Tenth Century," gives, translated from 
the Icelandic Sagas, an account of these voyages of the Norse- 
men to the American coast. " The manuscripts which have the 
Sagas relating to America," he says, " are found in the celebrated 
Codex Flatokensis, a skin-book that was finished in the year 
1387. This work, written with great care, and executed in the 
highest style of art, is now preserved in its integrity in the 
archives of Copenhagen, and a carefully printed copy of it is to 
be found in Minies's library, at the University of Wisconsin." 

Alexander Von Humboldt, discussing the pre-Columbian dis- 
covery of America by the Norsemen, in Cosmos, vol. ii, pages 
269-272, says:— "We are here on historical ground. By the 
critical and highly praiseworthy efforts of Professor Rafu and 
the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries in Copenhagen, the 
Sagas and documents in regard to the expeditions of the Norse- 
men to Helluliind (Newfoundland), to Markland (the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence river and Nova Scotia), and to Vinland 
(Massachusetts), have been published and satisfactorily com- 
mented upon. * * * The discovery of the northern part of 
America by the Norsemen cannot be disputed. The length of 
the voyage, the direction in which they sailed, the time of the 
sun's rising and setting, are accurately given. While the Chali- 
fat of Bagdad was still flourishing under the Abbasides, and 
while the rule of the Samanides, so favorable to poetry, still 
flourished in Persia, America was discovered, about the year 
1000, by Lief, son of Erik the Red, at about 4U degrees of north 
latitude." 

So much from Baron Von Humboldt, who is recognized as 
authority the world over, upon all subjects of which he treats. 
Malte Brun, and many other distinguished scholars also fully 
acknowledge the authenticity and authority of the Icelandic 
Sagas. 

By these Sagas, it appears that America was first discovered 
by Bjakne, son of Hekjulf, or Bjarne Herjulfsox, as he is 
called, in the year 986, who, on a voyage to Greenland from 
Iceland, was driven off his course to the south and west, and 



APPENDIX. 121 

enveloped in a fog which lasted many days, " and they knew not 
where they were sailing to." The account continues : — "The 
sun at length appeared again, so that they could determine the 
quarters of the sky, and lo ! in the horizon they saw, like a blue 
cloud, the outlines of an unknown land. They approached it. 
They saw that it was without mountains, was covered with 
wood, and that there were small hills inland. Bjarne saw that 
this did not answer to the description of Greenland ; he knew 
he was too far south. So he left the land on the larboard side 
and sailed northward two days, when they got sight of land 
again. The men asked Bjarne if this was Greenland; but he 
said it was not. 'For in Greenland,' he said, ' there are great 
snowy mountains; but this land is flat and covered with trees.' 
They did not go ashore, but turning the bow from the land, 
they kept the sea with a fine breeze from the southwest for 
three days, when a third land was seen. Still Bjarne would not 
go ashore, for it was not like what had been reported of Green- 
land. So they sailed on, driven by a violent southwest wind, 
and after"* four days they reached a land which suited the 
description of Greenland. Bjarne was not deceived, for it was 
Greenland, and he happened to land close to the place where his 
father had settled," who had preceded him to that island from 
Iceland. 

"It cannot be determined with certainty what parts of the 
American coast Bjarne saw; but from the circumstances of the 
voyage, the course of the winds, the direction of the currents, 
and the presumed distance between each sight of land, there is 
reason to believe that the first land that Bjarne saw in the year 
986, was the present island of Nantucket; the second. Nova 
Scotia ; and the third, Newfoundland. Thus Bjarne Hehjulfson 
was the first European whose eyes beheld any part of the 
American Continent." — America Not Discovered by Columbus, 
pp. 46-47. 

The report of Bjarue's adventure, which he carried to Norway 
a few years later, aroused in the mind of Leif Erikson, son 
of Erik the Red, a determination to solve the problem, and find 
out what kind of lands these were that were talked so much 
about. He bought Bjarne's ship, and with a good crew of 

11 



122 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

thirty-five men, set sail and found the lands just as Bjarne had 
described them, far away to the southwest of Greenland. They 
landed in Helluland (Newfoundland) and in Markland (Nova 
Scotia), and gave them names, and then proceeded into the 
open sea with a northeast wind, and were two days at sea before 
they saw land again. They sailed into a sound and up a river 
into a lake, where they cast anchor, brought their skin cots out 
of the ship and raised their tents. This lake where they cast 
anchor, is claimed to be Mount Hope Bay. The account farther 
says that they took counsel and resolved to remain through the 
winter, and built a large house. The nature of the country 
was, as they thought, so good that cattle would not require 
house-feeding in winter. It must have been a mild winter, not 
unlike the one just past (winter of 1875-76). Day and night 
were more equal than in Greenland or Icehind, for on the 
shortest days the sun was above the horizon from half-past 
seven in the morning till half-past four in the afternoon ; which 
indicates the latitude of the place to be 41° 24' 10'^, the latitude 
of Mount Hope, where Leif 's house is thought to have been 
situated. Erikson called the country Vinland. Tlie reason for 
giving it this name was that one of the crew named Tyker, 
a German, rambling in the woods, discovered, to his great joy 
and surprise, grapes growing wild. This circumstance gave the 
land the name of Vinland, and, adds Professor Anderson, 
** history got the interesting fact that a German was along with 
the daring argonauts of the Christian era." 

This expedition took place in the year 1000. In this centennial 
year of our country's independence, when the struggles and 
trials and glories of the past are recalled to mind, it is but just 
that Leif Erikson, who was the first pale-faced man to plant his 
feet on the American continent, should be remembered and 
honored. 

Let a person visiting Mount Hope on a bright, clear day, and 
looking out upon the beautifully -blended stretch of land and 
water that opens to his view — unsurpassed in its loveliness — and 
banishing from the scene every vestige of man's cultivation — 
picture to himself how it appeared, in all its native wildness, to 
the hardy Northern rovers who first landed on these shores, 



APPENDIX. 123 

almost nine hundred years ago. If not content with this 
" reach of years," he has only to cast his eyes to the earth at 
his feet to see where nature's great planes have grooved their 
way into the hard quartz rock on the very summit of the hill, as 
they swept over it in the great glacial drift. 



[B.— Page 29.] 

The daughter of Massasoit, Philip's sister, was named Amie. 
The date of her birth is not known. She became the wife of the 
Black Sachem, so called, the chief of the Assawamset Indians. 
His name appears in history as Tuspaquin. He was one of 
Philip's captains, and was captured by the English and put to 
death at Plymouth, some time in September, 1676. He had a son 
named Benjamin Tuspaquin, who married an Indian named 
Weecum. These latter also had a son named Benjamin who 
married Mercy Felix. Mercy was the daughter of an Indian 
named Felix, who married Assowetough, a daughter of John 
Sassamon. Benjamin and Mercy Tuspaquin had one child named 
Lydia. Lydia married an Indian named Wamsley, and they had 
a daughter named Phebe, who was born February 26, 1770, and 
died August IG, 1839. She was twice married, — first to Silas 
Rosier, an Indian of the Marshpee tribe. After his death she 
married, March 4, 1797, Brister Gould. They had a daughter 
Zerviah, who was born July 24, 1807. She married Thomas C. 
Mitchell, October 17, 1824. She now resides, or did in 1879, in 
North Abington, Mass., and is the publisher of a book entitled, 
"Indian History, Biography and Genealogy: pertaining to the 
Good Sachem Massasoit of the Wampanoag Tribe, and his de- 
scendants." The book is compiled by Ebenezer W. Peirce, of 
Freetown, Mass., and from it is derived the above recited bio- 
graphy of tlie descendants of Massasoit. It was published in 
1878. Two daughters of Zerviah Mitchell, Melinda and Char- 
lotte, canvassed for subscribers to their mother's book, and by 
their intelligence and modest behavior, won universal respect. 
The Indian name of Melinda is Teweelema, and that of Charlotte, 
Wootonekanuske. 



124 THR WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

[C. — Page 116.] 

CAPTURE OF ANNAWON. 

After the capture and death of Philip, Capt. Church, while at 
Plymouth, learned that old Annawou was with his company, rang- 
ing about the woods in Rehoboth and Swanzey, and being solic- 
ited by the Government, consented to engage in an expedition for 
his capture. He enlisted Mr. Jabez Rowland, his old Lieutenant, 
and some of his soldiers, and ranged through the woods to Po- 
casset. It being the latter end of the week, he proposed to go 
on to Rhode Island and rest until Monday. "But early on the 
Lord's day morning," I quote again from Church's history, 
"there came a post to inform the Captain, that early the same 
morning a canoe with several Indians in it passed from Prudence 
Island to Poppasquash Neck. Captain Church thought if he 
could possibly surprise them, he might probably gain some intel- 
ligence of more game ; therefore he made all possible speed after 
them. The ferrj'- boat being out of the way he made use of 
canoes. But by that time they had made two freights and had 
got over the Captain and about fifteen or sixteen of his Indians, 
the wind sprung up with such violence that canoes could no 
more pass. The Captain seeing it was impossible for any more 
of his soldiers to come to him, he told his Indians if they were 
willing to go with him, he would go to Poppasquash and see if 
they could catch some of the enemy Indians. So they marched 
through the thickets that they might not be discovered, until 
they came unto the salt meadow * to the northward of Bristol 
town, that now is. Then they heard a gun, the Captain looked 
about not knowing but it might be some of his own company in 
the rear; so halting till they all came up, he found 'twas none of 
his own company that fired. Now though he had but a few men, 
was minded to send some of them out on a scout. He moved it 

*At Silver Creek, near where the Gas Works are now located. 



APPENDIX. 125 

to Captain Lightfoot to go with three more on a scout; he said 
he was willing, providing the Captain's man Nathanael (which 
was an Indian that they had lately taken), miglit be one of them, 
because he was well acquainted with the Neck (Mount Hope 
Neck), and coming lately from among them knew how to call 
them." 

Dexter, in his " History of King Philip's War." in a note says : 
" The Indians were accustomed to have some call— like a wolf's 
howl, a loon's cry, or something of that sort — by which they 
could signal each other in the woods. This was changed as 
often as there w^as danger of its becoming known to their ene- 
mies. Nathanael, being recently captured, would know what 
that signal of his tribe now was." 

" The Captain bid him choose his three companions and go; 
and if they came across any of the enemy not to kill them if they 
could possibly take them alive; that they might gain intelligence 
concerning Annawon*. The Captain with the rest of his com- 
pany moved but a little further toward Poppasquash, before they 
heard another gun, which seemed to be the same way with the 
other, but further off; but they made no halt until they came 
unto the narrow of Poppasquash Neck; where Captain Church 
left three men more to watch if any should come out of the Neck, 
and to inform the scout, when they returned, which way he had 
gone. 

" He parted the remainder of his company, half on one side of 
the Neck, and the other with himself, went on the other side, 
until they met; and meeting neither with Indians nor canoe, re- 
turned big with expectations of tidings by their scout. But 
when they came back to the three men at the narrow of the Neck, 
they told their Captain the scout had not returned, and they had 
not heard nor seen anything of them. This tilled them with 
thoughts of what should become of them. By that time they had 
sat and waited an hour longer it was very dark, and they de- 
spaired of their returning to them Some of the Indians told 
their Captain they feared his new man Nathanael had met with 
his old Mount Hope friends, and turned rogue. They concluded 
to make no fires that night (and indeed they had no great need of 
any), for they had no victuals to cook, not so much as a morsel 



12G THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

of bread with them. They took up their lodgings scattering, 
that if possibly their scout should come in the night and whistle 
(which w\as their sign), some or other of them might hear them." 
Church says they had a very solitary, hungry night, and as 
soon as the day broke (Monday, 11th of September, 1676), they 
drew off through the brush to a hill without the Neck (probably 
where the cemetery is now located), and soon discovered an In- 
dian running somewhat toward them. The Captain ordered one 
man to step out of the brush and show himself, upon which the 
Indian ran right to him, and proved to be Captain Lightfoot. 
He reported that he had captured ten Indians, and that they 
guarded them all night in one of the " flankers of the old English 
garrison," — the English fort at the Narrows that Church had be- 
fore ridiculed. Their prisoners were a part of Annavvon's com- 
pany who had left their families in a swamp above Mattapoiset 
Neck. As they were going towards the Narrows, Lightfoot gave 
Captain Church a particular account of their exploit, as follows : 
*'That presently after they left him, they heard another gun 
which seemed to be towards the Indian burying place,* and mov- 
ing that way they discovered two of the enemy fleeing of an 
horse. The scout clapping into the brush, Nathanael bid them 
sit down, and he would presently call all the Indians thereabout 
unto him. They hid, and he went a little distance back from 
them and sat up his note and howled like a wolf; one of the two 
immediately left his horse and came running to see who was 
there; but Nathanael howling lower and lower drew him in be- 
tween those that lay in wait for him, who seized him. Nathan- 
ael continuing the same note, the other left the horse, also fol- 
lowing his mate, and met with the same. When they caught 
these two, they examined them apart, and found them to agree in 
their story, that there were eight more of them come down into 
the Neck to get provisions, and had agreed to meet at the bury- 
ing place that evening. These two being some of Natlianael's 
old acquaintances, he had great influence upon them, and with 
his enticing story (telling what a brave Captain he had, how 

* There was an Indian Burying Ground at the Narrows, and this was un- 
doubtedly the one referred to. It is on the farm of Loring B. CoggeshalL— 1877. 



APPENDIX. 127 

bravely he lived since he had been with him, aud how much they 
might better their condition by turning to him, etc.), persuaded 
and engaged them to be on his side, which indeed now began to 
be the better side of the hedge. They waited but a little while 
before they saw the rest of them coming up to the burying place, 
and Nathanael soon howled them in as he had done their mates 
before." At the garrison, Captain Church met Lieutenant How- 
land and the rest of his company, who, "on getting across the 
ferry and following Church, may have fallen in with one of 
Lightfoot's scouts, or may have gone to the old garrison at a 
venture, as a likely place for meeting him or news from him," 
saj'^s Dexter, before quoted. The next move was to capture the 
women and children, that the prisoners reported they had left at 
Mattapoiset Neck, which they succeeded in doing, together with 
some others who had newly come to them They all held to one 
story, that it was hard to tell where to find Annavvon, for he 
never " roosted twice in a place." One of Church's Indian sol- 
diers asked liberty to go and fetch in his father, whom he said 
was about four miles from that place, in a swamp with no other 
than one young squaw. Church concluded to go with him, think- 
ing he might gain some intelligence of Annawon, " and so taking 
one Englishman and a few Indians with him, leaving the rest 
there, he went with his new soldier to his father. When he came 
to the swamp, he bid the Indian go see if he could find his father. 
He was no sooner gone but Captain Church discovered a track 
coming down out of the woods, upon which he and his little com- 
pany lay close, some on one side of the track, and some on the 
other. They heard the Indian soldier make a howling for his^ 
father; and at length somebody answered him, but while they 
were listening they thought they heard somebody coming towards 
them ; presently saw an old man coming up with a gun on his 
shoulder, and a young woman following of him in the track which 
they lay by. They let them come up between them, and then 
started up and laid hold on them both. Captain Church imme- 
diately examined them apart, telling them what they must trust 
to if they told false stories. He asked the young woman what 
company they came last from. She said from Captain Anna- 
won's. He asked her how many were in company with hira, 



I 



128 THK WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

when she left him ; she said fifty or sixty. He asked her hovy 
many miles it was to the place where she left him ; she said she 
did not understand miles, but it was up in Squaunaconk Swamp. 
The old man, who had been one of Philip's Council, upon exami- 
nation, gave exactly the same account. Captain Church asked 
him if they could get there that night. He said if they went 
presently and travelled stoutly, they might get there by sun set. 
He asked whither he was going. He answered that Anuawon 
had sent him down to look for some Indians that were gone 
down into Mount Hope Neck to kill provisions. Captain Church 
let him know that those Indians were all his prisoners. By this 
time came the Indian soldier and brought his father and one In- 
dian more. The Captain was now in great straight of mind 
what to do next. He had a mind to give Annawon a visit, now 
he knew where to find him ; but his company was very small, but 
half a dozen men beside himself, and was under a necessity to 
send somebody back to acquaint his Lieutenant and company 
with his proceedings. However, he asked his small company 
that were with him, whether they would willingly go with him 
and give Annawon a visit. They told him, they were always 
ready to obey his commands, but withal told him that they knew 
this Captain .Vnuawon was a great soldier, that he had been a 
valiant Captain under Asuhmequin, Philip's father, and that he 
had been Philip's'Chieftain all this War; a very subtle man. and 
of great resolution, and had often said that he would never be 
taken alive by the English ; and moreover, they knew that the 
men that were with him were resolute fellows, some of Philip's 
chief soldiers, and therefore feared whether it was practicable to 
make an attempt upon him with so small a handful of assailants 
as now were with him. Told him further, that it would be a 
pity that after all the great things he had done, he should throw 
away his life at last, etc. Upon which he replied, that he 
doubted not Annawon was a subtle and valiant man; that he 
had a long time but in vain sought for him, and never till now 
could find his quarters, and he was very loth to miss of the op- 
portunity, and doubt not but that if they would cheerfully go 
with him, the same Almighty Providence that had hitherto pro- 
tected and befriended them, would do so still. Upon this with 



APPENDIX. 129 

one consent tliey said, tliey wonld go. Captain Church then 
turned to one Cook of Plymouth (the only Englishman then with 
him), and asked him what he thought of it, who replied. Sir, I 
am never afraid of going anywhere when you are with me. Then 
Captain Church asked the old Indian if he could carry his horse 
with him. He replied that it would be impossible for an horse 
to pass the swamps. Therefore he sent away his new Indian 
soldier with his father and the Captain's horse to his Lieutenant, 
and orders for him to move to Taunton with the prisoners, to 
secure from them there, and to come out in the morning in the 
Rehoboth road, in which he might expect to meet him, if he 
were alive and had success. The Captain then asked the old 
fellow if he would pilot him to Annawon. He answered th:it he 
having given him his life, he was obliged to serve him. He bid 
him move on then, and they followed. The old man would out- 
travel them so far sometimes that they were almost out of sight ; 
looking over his shoulder and seeing them behind he would halt. 
Just as the sun was setting, the old man made a full stop and sat 
down, the full company coming up also sat down, being all 
weary. Captain Church asked what news. He answered that 
about that time in the evening Captain Annawon sent out his 
scouts to see if the coast was clear, and as ^oon as it began to 
grow dark the scouts returned, and then, said he, we may move 
again securely. 

" When it began to grow dark the old man stood up again, Cap- 
tain Church asked him if he would take a gun and fight for him? 
He bowed very low, and prayed him not to impose such a thing 
upon him, as to fight against Captain Annawon his old friend. 
But says he, ' I will go along with you, and be helpful to you, 
and will lay hand on any man tlrat shall offer to hurt you.' 

*' It being now pretty dark, they moved close together ;— anon 
they heard a noise. The Captain stayed the old man with his 
hand, and asked his own men what noise they thought it might 
he? They concluded it to be the pounding of a mortar. The 
old man had given Captain Church a description of the place* 

* '• This solitary retreat is in the southeasterly part of the town of Rehoboth^ 
but being near Taunton line, some, in relating the story, report it to be in this 



130 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

where Annawon now lay, and of the difficulty of getting at him. 
Being sensible that they were pretty near them, with two of his 
Indians he creeps to the edge of the rocks, from whence he could 
see their camps. He saw three companies of Indians at a little 
distance from each other; being easy to be discovered by the 
light of their tires. He saw also the great Annawox and his 
company, who had formed his camp or kenneling place by falling 
a tree under the side of the great cliffs of rocks, and setting a 
row of birch bushes up against it ; where he himself, his son, and 
some of his chiefs had taken up their lodgings, and made great 
fires without them, and had their pots and kettles boiling, and 
spits roasting. Their arms also he discovered, all set together, 
in a place fitted for the purpose, standing up an end against a 
stick lodged in two crotchets, and a mat placed over them, to 
keep them from the wet or dew. The old Annawon's feet and 
his sou's head were so near the arms, as almost to touch them. 

" The rocks were so steep that it was impossible to get down, 
as they lowered themselves by the boughs, and the bushes that 
grew in the cracks of the rocks. Captain Church creeping back 

town. It is about eight miles from Taunton green, and nearly in a direct line 
to Providence. The northwest corner of Dighton runs up between Taunton 
and Relioboth, througli which we pass in going from Taunton to Annawon'S 
KOOK. (By this name it is known throughout that part of the country.) It is 
in a great swamp, called Squannaconk, containing nearly three thousand acres, 
as I was informed by Mr. A. Bliss, the nearest inhabitant to it. The road 
passes round the northwesterly part of the swamp, and within six or eight rods 
of the rock. This immense rock extends northeast and southwest seventy or 
eighty feet, and to this day the camp of Annawon is approached with difficulty. 
A part of its southeast side hangs over a little, and the other, on the northeast 
part, seems in no very distant period, to have tumbled down in large clefts. 
Its height may be thirty feet. It is composed of sand and pebbles. A few 
scattering maple, beech, birch, &c., grow about it; as also briars and water 
bushes, so thick as almost to forbid approach. Formerly, it was, no doubt, 
entirely surrounded by water, as it is to this time in wet seasons. The north- 
west side of the rock is easily ascended, as it gradually slopes away from its 
summit to its base, and at an angle, perliaps, not exceeding thirty-five degrees. 
Small bushes grow from the seams in its steep side, as in the days of Church. 
Near the southwest extremity is an opening of an angular form, in which, it is 
said, Annawon and the other chiefs were encamped. This opening now con- 
tains the stump of a large tree, which must have grown since those days, as it 
nearly fills it up. 



APPENDIX. 131 

again to the old man, asked him, if there were no possibility of 
getting at them some other way? He answered, 'No.' That 
he and all that belonged to Annavvon, were ordered to come that 
way, and none could come any other way without difficulty, or 
danger of being shot. 

" Captain Church then ordered the old man and his daughter to 
go down foremost with their baskets at their backs, that when 
Annawon saw them with their baskets he should not mistrust the 
intrigue. Captain Church and his handful of soldiers crept 
down also, under the shadow of those two and their baskets. 
The Captain himself crept close behind the old man, Avith his 
hatchet in his hand, and stepped over the young man's head to 
the arms. The young Annawon discovering of him, whipped 
his blanket over his head, and shrunk up in a heap. The old 
Captain Annawon started up on his breech, and cried out 
' Howoh.' And despairing of escape, threw himself back again, 
and lay silent until Captain Church had secured all the arras, etc. 
And having secured that company, he sent his Indian soldiers to 
the other fires and companies, giving them instructions, what to 
do and say. Accordingly they went into the midst of them. 
When they discovered themselves, told them that their Captain 
Annawon was taken, and it would be best for them, quietly and 
peaceably to surrender themselves, which would procure good 
quarter for them ; otherwise, if they should pretend to resist or 
make their escape, it would be in vain, and they could expect no 
other but that Captain Church, with his great army, who had 
now entrapped them, would cut them to pieces. Told them also, 
if they would submit themselves, and deliver up all their arms, 
unto them, and keep every man in his place until it was day 
they would assure them that their Captain Church, who had 
been so kind to themselves when they surrendered to him, 
should be as kind to them. Now they being old acquaintance, 
and many of them relations, did much the readier give heed to 
what they said ; complied, and surrendered up their arms unto 
them, both their guns and hatchets, etc., and were forthwith 
carried to Captain Church, 

" Things being so far settled, Captain Church asked Annawon, 
'what he had for supper?' 'For,' said he, ' I am come to sup 



132 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

\vitli yoii.' * Taubut' (said Anuawou), with a big voice, and 
looking about upon hib women, bid them hasten and get Captain 
Church and his company some supper. Then turned to Cap- 
tain Church and asked him whether he would eat cow beef or 
horse beef? The Captain told him cow beef would be most ac- 
ceptable. It was soon got ready, and pulling his little bag of 
salt out of his pocket, which was all the provision he brought 
with him. This seasoned his cow beef. So that with it and the 
dried green corn, which the old Squaw was pounding in the mor- 
tar, while they were sliding down the rocks, he made a very 
hearty supper. And this pounding in the mortar proved lucky 
for Captain Church's getting down the rocks ; for when the old 
squaw pounded, they moved, and when she ceased to turn the 
corn, they ceased creeping. The noise of the mortar prevented 
the enemy's hearing their creeping, and the corn being nov#* 
dressed, supplied the want of bread, and gave a tine relish with 
the cow beef. 

" Supper being over, Captain Church sent two of his men to in- 
form the other companies, that he had killed Philip, and taken 
their friends in Mount Hope Neck, but had spared their lives, 
and that he had subdued now all the enemy, (he supposed) ex- 
cept this company of Annawon ; and now if they would be orderly 
and keep their places until morning, they should have good quar- 
ter, and thi\t he would carry them to Taunton, where they might 
see their friends again, etc. 

" The messengers returned, that the Indians yielded to his pro- 
posals. 

'' Captain Church thought it was now time for him to take a nap, 
having had no sleep in two days and one night before. Told his 
men, that if they would let him sleep two hours, they should 
sleep all the rest of the night. He laid himself down and en- 
deavored to sleep, but all disposition to sleep departed from him. 

" After he had lain a little while, he looked up to see how his 
watch managed, but found them all fiist asleep. Now Captain 
Church had told Captain Annawon's company, as he- had ordered 
his Indians to tell the others; that their lives should all be 
spared, excepting Captain Annawon's, and it was not in his 



APPENDIX. 133 

power to promise him his life, but he must carry liim to his 
masters at Plymouth, aud he would entreat them for his life. 

" Now when Captain Church found not only his own men, but 
all the Indians fast asleep, Annawon only excepted, who, he per- 
ceived, was as broad awake as himself; and so they lay looking" 
one upon the other, perhaps an hour. Captain Church said noth- 
ing to him, for he could not speak Indian, and thought Anna- 
won could not speak English. 

" At length Annawon raised himself up, cast off his blanket, and 
with no more clothes than his small breeches, walked a little way 
back from the company. Captain Church thought * * * i^q 
would very soon return. But by and by he was gone out of 
sight and hearing, and then Captain Church began to suspect 
some ill design in him ; and got all the guns close to him, and 
crowded himself close under young Annawon ; that if he should 
anywhere get a gun, he should not make a shot at him, without 
endangering his son. Lying very still awhile, waiting for the 
event, at length, he heard somebody coming the same way that 
Annawon went. The moon now shining bright, he saw him at 
a distance coming with something in his hands, aud coming up 
to Captain Church, he fell upon his knees before him, and offered 
him what he had brought, and speaking in plain English, said, 
' Great Captain, you have killed Philip, and conquered his coun- 
try; for I believe that I and my company are the last that war 
against the English, so suppose the war is ended by your means; 
and therefore these things belong unto you.' Then opening his 
pack, he pulled out Philip's belt, curiously wrought with wom- 
pom, being nine inches broad, wrought with black and white 
wompom, in various figures, and flowers and pictures of many 
birds and beasts. This, when hanged upon Captain Church's 
shoulders, reached his ancles ; and another belt of wompom he 
presented him with, wrought after the former manner, which 
Philip was wont to put upon his head. It had two flags on the 
back part, which hung down on his back, and another small belt 
with a star upon the end of it, which he used to hang on his 
breast, and they were all edged with red hair, which Annawon 
said they got in the Mohog's country. Then he pulled out two 
12 



134 THE WAMFANOAG INDIANS. 

horns of glazed powder, and a red cloth blanket. He told Cap- 
tain Chnrch these were Philip's royalties, which he was wont to 
adorn himself with, when he sat in state; that he thought him- 
self happy that he had an opportunity to present them to Captain 
Church, who had won them, etc. Spent the remainder of the 
night in discourse. And gave an account of what mighty success 
he had formerly in wars against many nations of Indians, when 
he served Asuhmeqnin, Philip's father, etc. 

" In the morning, as soon as it was light, the Captain marched 
with his prisoners out of that swampy country towards Taun- 
ton. Met his Lieutenant and company about four miles out of 
town, who expressed a great deal of joy to see him again, and 
said it was more than ever they expected. They went into 
Taunton, were civilly and kindly treated by the inhabitants. 
Refreshed and rested themselves that night. 

'• Early next morning, the Captain took old Anna won, and half 
a dozen of his Indian soldiers, and his own man, and went to 
Rhode Island ; sending the rest of his company, and his pris- 
oners by his Lieutenant to Plymouth." 

After tarrying two or three days upon the island, Capt. Church 
went to Plymouth, taking Annawon with him. He had been 
there, however, but a few days, when he was informed of a par- 
cel of Indians in the woods between Plymouth and Sippican, and 
started in pursuit of them. They soon came upon the track of 
an Indian, and following it, discovered a party of about fifty sit- 
ting around their fires, whom they captured, not one escaping. 
An examination proved these Indians to belong to Tispaquin 
[or Tuspaquin], one of Philip's captains, and the husband of 
Philip's sister. Tispaquin himself was gone with two or three 
others, to Agawam and Sippican — Wareham and Rochester — for 
provisions, "and were not expected back in two or three days." 
Captain Church was desirous of securing the services of Tispa- 
quin to fight the eastern Indians, and " left two old squaws of the 
prisoners, and bid them tarry there until Tispaquin returned, 
and to tell him that Church had been there, and had taken his 
-wife and children, and company, and carried them down to Ply- 
mouth, and would spare all their lives and his too, if he would 



APPENDIX. 135 

come down to them, and bring the other two with him, and they 
should be his soldiers." 

Captain Church returned to Plymouth with his prisoners, and 
two da.ys after went to Boston. " The same day Tispaquin came 
in and those tliat were with him. But when Captain Church 
returned from Boston, he found, to his grief, the heads of Anna- 
won, Tispaquin, etc., cut oft", which were the last of Philip's 
friends."* 

And these few lines chronicle the annihilation of a once power- 
ful and haughty people. One after another, their great leaders 
had been betrayed by the foulest treachery, and slain without 
mercy. In the case of Tispaquin, the plighted faith of Church 
was broken, apparently without the least hesitation, by the Ply- 
mouth authorities. Drake, in a note, says :—" The conduct of 
the government in putting to death Annawon, Tispaquin, etc., 
has ever been viewed as barbarous ; no circumstance now made 
it necessary. The Indians were subdued, therefore no example 
was wanting to deter others. It is true, some were mentioned 
by the government as unmeriting mercy ; but humanity forbade 
the execution of laws formed only for the emergencies of the 
moment." 

Gov. Hutchinson says: — "Every person, almost, in the two 
colonies [Massachusetts and Plymouth], had lost a relation or 
near friend, and the people in general were exasperated; but all 
does not sufficiently excuse this great severity." f 

Hubbard, on the contrary, justilies these executions, as he 
does every act of treachery and cruelty against the Indians. 

• * Church's Philip's War, p. 146. t Hist. Mass. i., 277. 



NINE MEN'S MISERY. 

AN EPISODE OF PIERCE'S FIGHT. 

*' This name is given to a spot in Cumberland, where nine men 
were slain by the Indians, on the same day with Pierce's Fight. 
This place is in what is called ' Camp Swamp,' so named from 



13(3 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

the fact tliat the Indians frequently made it a place of retreat 
durin*^ Pliilip's war. There are two or three traditions respect- 
ing this event, but the one which seems the most probable, and 
the best suppoited by circumstances, is, that these nine men 
were a remnant of Pierce's brave band, who were taken prison- 
ers by the Indians, and reserved for torture. They were taken 
to the spot, and seated upon a rock. Its position is said to be 
precisely defined on the maps ; but there is nothing to indicate a 
natural ampitheatre, as described by some early writers The 
savages commenced the war-dance around their prisoners and 
were preparing to torture them; but, disagreeing about the 
manner of torture, they fell into a quarrel among themselves, 
during which some of the Indians despatched the prisoners with 
the tomahawk. This story is said to have been related to the 
English by an Indian who was soon after this taken prisoner. 
The Indians having scalped them, left their bodies upon the rock 
where they had slain thein, and here they remained uuburied till 
they were discovered by the English some weeks after. They 
were then buried, all in one grave on the higher ground, fifteen 
or twenty rods from the rock on which they were slain. A heap 
of small stones in the shape of the earth on a newly made grave 
marked the spot where they were buried. A part of these bones, 
about the time of the American Revolution, were disinterred by 
some physicians of Providence. One of the men was ascertained 
to be a Bucklin, of Rehoboth, from his very large frame, and 
from a set of double teeth all around. In the Rehoboth town 
record of deaths and burials the names of four individuals are 
recorded as ' slain on the 26th of March, 1676,' viz. : John Reed, 
Jr., John Fitch, Jr., Benjamin Buckland, and John Miller, Jr. 
Between the first two of these names and the last two, are in- 
serted the names of seven other persons, bearing a later date; 
which leads me to infer that John Reed, Jr., and John Fitch, Jr. 
were found with the main body of the slain of Pierce's army, 
and that Benjamin Buckland and John Miller, Jr., were found 
among the nine, at ' Nine Men's Misery,' and interred at a later 
period than the other two." * 

* Bliss' History of Rehoboth, pp. 94 and 95. 



APPENDIX. 137 

A skull of one of the men slain at "Nine Men's Misery," is 
in the museum of Brown University, at Providence, and plainly 
shows the " cut" of the tomahawk. 



CAPTURE OF CANONCHET. 

On the 9th of April, 1676, Canonchet was found on the Black- 
stone river, not far from the village of Pawtucket. Hubbard 
gives the following account of his capture: — 

" Captain George Deunison, of Stonington, and Captain 
Avery, of New Loudon, having raised forty-seven English, the 
most part volunteers, with eighty Indians, twenty of which were 
Narragansetts belonging to Ninigret, commanded by one Cata- 
pazet; the rest Pequods, under Casasinamon, and Mohegins 
under Oneco, son to Uncas, being now abroad upon their third 
expedition, which they began March 27, 1676, and ended on the 
10th of April following. They met with a stout Indian of the 
enemy's whom they presently slew, and two old squaws, that 
confessed Nanuntenoo, alias Canonchet, was not far off; which 
welcome news put new life into the wearied soldiers, that had 
travelled hard many days, and met with no booty till now; 
especially when it was confirmed by intelligence the same instant, 
brought in by their scouts, that they met with new tracks, which 
brought them in view of some wigwams, not far from Pautuket, 
by some called Blackstone's river, in one of which the said 
sachem was at that moment diverting himself with the recital 
of Captain Pierce's slaughter, surprised by his men a few days 
before. But the alarm of the English, at that time heard by 
himself, put by that discourse, appalled by the suddenness 
thereof, as if he had been informed by secret item from heaven, 
that now his own turn was come. So, as having but seven men 
about him, he sent two of them to the top of the hill, to see 
what the matter was ; but they, affrighted with the near approach 
of the English, at that time with great speed mounting over a 
fair champagua on the other side of the hill, ran by, as if they 
wanted time to tell what they saw. Presently he sent a third, 



238 THR WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Avho did the like ; then sending two more on the same errand, 
one of these last, endued with more courage, or a better sense 
of his duty, informed him in great haste that all the English 
army was upon him. Whereupon, having no time to consult, 
and but little to attempt an escape, and no means to defend him- 
self, he began to dodge with his pursuers, running round the 
hill on the contrary side. But as he was running so hastily by, 
Catapazat, with twenty of his followers, and a few of the Eng- 
lish, lightest of foot, guessed by the swiftness of his motion, 
that he fled as if an enemy, w^hich made them immediately take 
the chase after him, as for their lives. He that was the swifter 
pursuer, put him so hard to it, that he cast off first his blanket, 
then his silver laced coat (given him at Boston, as a pledge of 
their friendship, upon the renewal of his league in October be- 
fore) and belt of peag, which made Catapazat conclude it was 
the right bird, which made them pursue as eagerly as the other 
fled ; so as they forced him to take to the water, through which, 
as he over hastily plunged, his foot slipping upon a stone, it 
made him fall into the water so deep, as it wet his gun ; upon 
which accident, he confessed soon after, that his heart and his 
bowels turned within him, so as he became as a rotten stick, 
void of strength; iusouiuch as one Monopoide, a Pequod swift- 
est of foot, laid hold of him within thirty rod of the river side, 
without his making any resistance, though he was a very 
proper man, of goodly stature, and great courage of mind as 
well as strength of body. One of the first English that came 
up vfith him, was Robert Stanton, a young man that scarce had 
reached the twenty-second year of his age, yet adventuring to 
ask him a question or two, to whom this manly sachem, looking 
with a little neglect upon his youthful face, replied in broken 
English, ' You much child, no understand matters of war ; let 
your brother or your chief come, him I will answer ;' and was as 
good as his word ; acting herein, as if, by a Pythagorean me- 
tempsychosis, some old Roman gho^t had possessed the body of 
this western pagan ; and, like Attilius Regulus, he would not 
accept of his own life, when it was tendered him, upon that (in 
his account) low condition of compliance with the English, re- 
fusing to send an old counsellor of his to make any motion that 



APPKNDIX. 139 

way, saying he knew the Indians wouki not yield; but more 
probably he was not willing they should, choosing rather to sac- 
rifice his own, and his people's lives to his private humour of 
revenge, than timely to provide for his own, and their safety, by 
entertaining the counsels of peace, so necessary for the general 
good of all." * 

He was afterwards carried to Stonington, Ct. When up- 
braided with his breach of faith to the English, and with having 
said that •' Tie would not deliver vp a Wampanoag, or the paring 
of a Wampnnoag's nail," and " that he would burn the English 
alive in their houses," ho replied that " others were as forward 
for the war as himself, and that he desired to hear uo more 
thereof." When told, his sentence was to die, he said " he liked 
it well, that he should die before his heart was soft, or he had 
spoken anything unworthy of himself." He was shot at Stoning- 
ton, under the eye of Denlson, and the friendly Indians were 
his executioners. 

* Hubbard, pp. 1*^7, 128, 129. 



On the 24:th* of August, 1876, the Rhode Island Historical 
Society commemorated the two hundredth anniversary of the 
death of King Philip, by planting a memorial treef on the sum- 
mit of Mount Hope. The exercises were of a highly interesting 
character, and were participated in by His Excellency Governor 
Lippitt, Hon. Samuel G. Arnold, President of the Historical 
Society, and other distinguished gentlemen. 

The following beautiful and appropriate poem, written for the 
occasion, did not reach the Committee of Arrangements in sea- 
sou to be presented and read " amidst the scenes and associa- 
tions it describes " : — 

* The 23d of August was the anniversary of the death of King Pliilip. Eleven 
days only should be added to change the date from old to new style. 
t The tree did not live. 



140 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

KING PHILIP. 

BY ISABEL E. TABODIE. 

On Pokanoket's height 
All life is hushed beueath the summer heat; 
No human step is heard from morn to night, 

And echo can repeat 
Naught but the lonely fish-hawk's piercing screams, 

As swooping downward to the placid bay, 
To touch the water's breast he scarcely seems. 

Then slow flies homeward with his struggling prey, 
Where mate and clamorous young hang eager o'er 
Their nest upon the blasted sycamore. 

You little grove of trees 

Waves soundless in the breeze 

That wanders down the slope ; 
Hushed by the countless memories 
Which cluster round thy crest, renowned Mount Hope. 

How fair the scene! 
The city's gleaming spires, the clustering towns, 
The modest villages, half hid in green. 

Soft hills and grassy downs ; 
The dark-blue waves of Narragansett Bay, 

Flecked with the snow-flakes of an hundred sail, 
And southward, in the distance, cold and grey, 
Newport lies sleeping in her foggy veil. 

Beyond the eastern waves. 

Where Taunton river laves 

The harbor's sandy edges, 
Queen of a thousand iron slaves, 
Fall River nestles in her granite ledges. 

But not to look on these- — 
Not for the azure lustres of the bay, 
Not for the beauty of the waving trees. 

We gather here to-day. 



APPENDIX. 141 

Two centuries have strengthened our weak siirht, 

And showed us virtues where we saw but crimes ; 
Two centuries have thrown a clearer light 
On the dark secrets of those troubled times. 
Once blinded, now we see, 
And to one memory 
A tribute late we bring, 
And plant this poor memorial tree 
To Metacomet, warrior, sachem, king. 

When here King Philip stood. 
Or rested in the niche we call his throne. 
He looked o'er hill and vale and swelling flood, 

Which once were all his own. 
Before the white man's footstep, day by day, 

As the sea-tides encroach upon the sand. 
He saw his proud possessions melt away. 
And found himself a king without a land. 

Constrained by unknown laws, 

Judged guilty without cause, 

Maddened by treachery. 
What wonder that his tortured spirit rose. 

And turned upon his foes. 
And told his wrongs in words that still we see 
Recorded on the page of history : — 

" The English, when they came, ^ 

Were but a handful, poor, distressed, forlorn ; 
My father, who was Sachem, gave them corn ; 

To serve them was his aim. 
He gave them lands to build upon, and plant, 
Hospitable and kind, relieved each want. 
As others came across the seas. 
He watched their feeble strength increase. 

"My father's counsellors were wise and old; 

They saw the power the deadly firearm gave ; 
They saw the whites grow proud, and uncontrolled, 



142 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

And dreaded lest the Indian be their slave. 
As yet their numbers were not great; 
They said, destroy them, ere it be too late. 
But to my father's mood, 
Their counsel seemed not good ; 
Gently he answered then : 
' My country has, in vale, and hill, and wood, 
Room for both Indians and for Englishmen.' 

'*His words prevailed, although with ruin fraught. 

And so he gave the English room, and food ; 
But as they flourished, soon experience taught 

The wise men's words were good. 
By various means, I know not how, each day 
Some part of our domain was taken away; 
But still my father could not see the end, 
And till he died, remained the white man's friend. 

**My elder brother, next, 
Wamsutta, was the Sachem of our race, 

And on some false pretext. 
Made captive even in his dwelling place. 

With pistols at his breast, 

Dragged rudely from his rest 
A prisoner, with a soldier on each side. 
Fatigued, enraged, sore wounded in his pride, 

What wonder that he died? 

"Now, the last Sachem of our tribe, I see 

Our strength and power decay. 
My people tried by laws they did not make, 
And forced to see the cruel white man take 

Their lands for damages they cannot pay. 
Whose ever herds transgress the boundary line, 

I rudely am confined and forced to sell 
Tract after tract, to pay an unjust fine. 

Nought but the whole, the white man's greed can quell; 



APPKNDIX. 143 

But a small part remains to give 

Of the dominions of ray father's race, 
I am determined not to live 

Until I have no country and no place." 

Such were King Philip's wrongs, 
Told by himself to one who plead for peace ; 
To the ungrateful white man's treacheries 

Surely all blame belongs. 

Then swelled the death-song of Pometacora, 
Upon the site of his ancestral home, 
Before he plunged into the fatal strife, 
AVhich ended only with his life : 

Then the war-cry rang out. 
With shriek, and yell, and hideous battle shout, 
The silent arrow hurtled through the air, 

In every copse there lurked a secret foe; 
From hill and valley, rose the smoky glare 
Which told of peaceful villages laid low. 
The mother clasped her babfes in mute affright, 
And dreaded, lest before the coming night. 
There might be seen, where now her dwelling stood, 
But dying coals and embers quenched in blood. 

How many mourned the dead? 

The tale has oft been read 

In stories and in songs, 
How raged the conflict fierce and dread ; 
How the roused Indians avenged their wrongs. 

O'er hill and plain. 
The years rolled on, amid the cruel strife ; 
One fought their ancient heritage to gain. 

One fought for life. 
At first the Indians triumphed; but at last 

The tide of battle turned ; the skill and strength 
And numbers of the whites increased so fast 
The red men fell before them, till at length 



144 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

Pometacom, subdued but undismayed, 
Saw wife aud sou consigned to slavery ; 

Saw the brave chiefs who rallied to his aid, 
Some lifeless ftill, some lost by treachery ; 

Cauonchet, captured, vilely tortured, burned; 

(Such savage treatment, Indians would have spurned :) 

Awashonks, queen of foir Seaconnet's shore, 

False to her race, was his ally no more ; 

And one true woman, ever at his side, 

With grief enraged. Wamsutta's widowed bride. 
Found dead beside the river flow. 
Was it a broken heart that laid thee low, 

Pocasset's warrior queen, unhappy Weetamoe? 

Nearer and nearer came 
The fatal end; they weaker grew each day. 
Despair, disease, starvation made their prey 

Upon each feeble frame ; 
And white men saw with hearts exulting high, 
The haughty race of Wampanoags fly 
Before their gathering force, from swamp to fen ; 
Hunted like some wild beast, from den to den ; 
The last weak remnant of the proud red men. 
At last, in yonder swamp that skirts this hill, 
Betrayed, despairing, but undaunted still. 

Circled by stealth, with hostile bands. 
King Philip fell by traitor hands. 

Shot through the very heart. 
He looked towards his ancestral throne, 
His fair Mount Hope, no more his own, 
From which he must depart. 
His spirit fled to seek some happier place. 
The last great Sachem of the Wampauoag race. 

And lies he here? 
Is this tree planted o'er the chieftain's breast? 

Did they, on leafy bier, 
Bear their dead foeman to his peaceful rest? 
No! base insult and injury 



APPENDIX. 145 

Were lavished freely on him then ; 
While Indians stood aghast, to see 

The tender mercies of the Englishmen. 
Of all the boundless lands he gave, 
They could not spare him even a shallow grave. 
His remnants from four neighboring trees hung down. 

And severed head and hands, oh ! shameful story ! 
Sent to far Plymouth, and to " Boston towne," 

As trophies to display the conqueror's glory. 
We know not where on earth his bones may be, 

But plant upon Mount Hope King Philip's tree, 
And give this tribute to his memory: — 

A chieftain, politic and wise, 

A faithful friend in time of peace. 
An enemy without disguise, 

Too proud to yield to injuries ; 
A leader, daring in the strife. 

Loving his country more than life, 
A conqueror, kind to gentleness. 

As all his captive foes confess ; 
Humane in battle as in peace, — oh! where 
Is there a liing could better record bear? 

And so, to-day, a little band. 

On Pokanoket's height we stand. 
And look back o'er the page of history, 

On proud Pometacom. 
Perchance his spirit hovers nigh, 
Come from the " happy hunting grounds " to view 
What more the white man's hand can do 

To desecrate his home. 
Shade of King Philip ! to thy bitter wrongs. 
This tribute of a late regret belongs. 
No marble stone, or monument, bring we, 
Nor polished shaft of granite; but, to thee. 
Son of the forest, plant this forest-tree; 
Long may its life perpetuate thy name. 
Green as tliy memory, deathless as thy fame. 
13 



146 THE WAMPANOAG INDIANS. 

As a fitting close to these " Notes concerning the Wampanoag 
Tribe of Indians," I copy from the " Proceedings of the Rhode 
Island Historical Society, 1877-78," the following 



REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE 
APPOINTED TO EUECT A 

MEMORIAL OP KING PHILIP ON MOUNT HOPK. 

Soon after the commemoration of the two hundredth anniver- 
sary of the death of King Philip it was proposed by Rev. Dr. 
Caswell that the place of King Philip's death should be marked 
by a boulder, inscribed with his name. At tlie quarterly meet- 
ing, October 3d, 1876, Dr. Alexis Caswell, Dr. George L. Collins, 
and Hon. Samuel W. Church, of Bristol, were appointed a Com- 
mittee for this purpose, and a subscription of $105 was sub- 
sequently obtained, principally by Mr. William G. Williams, to 
meet the expense. After the death of Rev. Dr. Caswell, Mr. 
William J. Miller, of Bristol, Dr. William F. Channing, and 
Prof. J. L. Dimau were added to the Committee. 

The Committee found that there were no suitable boulders on 
or near Mount Hope to move to the " Miery Swamp," where 
King Philip met his death, or to its immediate margin. Having 
full authority from the Society, the Committee therefore separ- 
ated the objects originally proposed ; first selecting a boulder on 
the top of the Mount, cutting therein a recess about two feet 
square, until a plain surface was obtained, and marking thereon 
in bold letters, this inscription : 

" KING PHILIP. 

Au<;usT 12, 1G7(). O. S." 

The boulder was a breccia containing quartz pebbles and very 
hard to cut. Second, the Committee placed beside the Cold 
Spring, on a cemented foundation, a massive granite block, 
weighing probably two-thirds of a ton, with rough sides, 
bevelled edges and smooth top, sloping like a desk, bearing the 
following inscription : 



ArrENDix. 147 

"In the Miery Swamp, IHG feet W. S. W. from this Spring, 
according to tradition, King Philip fell, August 12, 1G7G. O. S." 

'* This stone placed by the Rhode Island Historical Society, 
December, 1877." 

The Cold Spring is itself one of the landmarks of Mount 
Hope, and one of the principal feeders of the Miery Swamp, 
(spvlt 31 i c r y, in the old deeds). The stream runs out from 
under the bank of the comparatively smooth terrace at the 
western foot of Mount Hope. This terrace is the natural route 
for a future road. 

Tradition and history both point to the place assigned, — 
mimely, tlie intersection of a northerly line from the grove 
where King Philip camped, with the overflow of the Cold Spring, 
— as the spot, or very nearly the spot, of his death.* 

* By request of the Society tlie following historical note has been prepared 
).y Mv. William J. Miller, of Bristol : 

Note. — It is well known that Captain Benjamin Church, the bold and suc- 
cessful " Indian tighter," commanded the expedition that surprised the Indians 
at .Mount Hope on the morning of the 12th of August, 1676, and which resulted 
in riiilip's death. In Church's "Entertaining Passages relating to Philip's 
War," the place of the Indian encampment is described as " a little spot of 
upland that was in the south end of the Miery Swamp, just at the foot of the 
Mount, which was a spot of ground that Captain Church was well acquainted 
with," The Indian " shelter was open on tliat side next the swamp, built so 
on purpose for the convenience of tlight on occasion." When the Indians dis- 
covered that the English were upon them they fled into the swamp, " and 
I'tiilip, the foremost, who, starting at the first gun, * * * ran as tast as he 
could scamper, * * * and directly upon two of Captain Churcli's ambush. 
They let him come fair within shot, when, the Englishman's gun failing to go 
oir, he " bid the Indian tire away," and the latter shot Philipthrough the heart. 
'' He Ml upon his face in the mud and water, with his gun under him." The 
Indian "ran with all speed to Captain Church and informed him ot his ex- 
ploit, wlio commanded him to be silent about it, and let no man more know it, 
until they had drove the swamp clean; but when they had drove the swamp 
througii and found the enemy had escaped, or at the least the most of them, and 
the sun now up, and so the dew gone, that they could not so easily track them, 
the whole company met together rt< the place utfhere the enemy's niyht shelter 
was; and then Captain Church gave them the news of Philip's death," and 
" ordered his body to be pulled out of the mire on to the upland." 

Hubbard, and other contemporary writers, make mention of a severe 
drought along the New England ccjast, during the month of August, 1070. The 
growing " corn curled in tlie fields," it was said, lor lack of moisture. This 



148 THE WAMPANOAG INDIA^^S. 

The work above described 1ms been thoroughly and durabl.v 
done under the superintendence of Mr. E. W. Tingley, who 
made no charge for his own time. The expenses were necessa- 
rily increased by the very bad transportation, at all seasons, be- 
tween Bristol and Mount Hope. 

The amount of subscription was $105 with 62 cents interest 
accruing in the Treasurer's hands. The total cost, included in 
the receipted bill of the Tingley Marble Co., is $103.33, leaving 
a balance of $2.29 cents in the treasury. 
For the Committee, 

William F. Channixg. 

Providexck, R. I., January 15, 1878. 

being the case, it is probable that there was no water in the swamp wlien Pliilip 
was killed, except the overflow from " Cold Spring." This we know has been 
the condition of the swamp, on one or two occasions, in a very dry time within 
the past thirty years. And this historical fact goes far towards fixing the spot, 
as the spring is near the southern end of the swamp. 

So much for history. 

In 1080, four years after the close of the war, four merchants of Boston 
purchased that part of Mount Hope neck wiiicii had been condemned by Ply- 
mouth Colony, as "conquered territory," and laid out the township of Bristol. 
Among the first settlers was Captain Benjamin Church, who built a house and 
resided in Bristol probably more than twenty years. It is natural to suppose 
that the early settlers would be interested to know the spot where so renowned 
a warrior as Philip fell; and that Captain Church would take pride in pointing- 
it out. And further, that this important incident would be kept in remem- 
brance from generation to generation. Somewhere about 17.55, Doctor William 
Bradford became a resident of Bristol. At that time there must have been 
persons living in Bristol who remembered Captain Church as a resident. As 
Doctor Bradford, (afterwards Lieutenant Governor, anO one of the two Sena- 
tors who lirst rei)resented this State in the Congress of the United States) was 
the great-grandson of Major WMlliam Bradford, who commanded the combined 
Plymouth and Bay forces in Pliilip's War, we may well assume that he would 
feel a deep interest in the tradition, and would acquaint himself with the spot. 
Governor Bradford purchased the Mount Hope estate, and after the close of 
the "War of the Revolution resided on the farm where Philip fell, and died there 
in 1S08. Governor Bradford's son .John inherited the farm from his father, and 
it is through John's youngest son William, who was born and reared upon the 
farm, that the tradition comes to us. He points out the spot, and says,—" this 
is the place where my father always told mo Philip fell." 

I will only add, in conclusion, that as this presumably direct tradition as to 

tlie spot is in accord with history, we nuty reasonably accept it as reliable. 

WiJ.LiAM .J. .Arn.i.Ki:. 
.January 1."). 187^*. 

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